Nursing homes are supposed to be places where the elderly and seniors are safe. Unfortunately in the recent years there has been an increase in nursing home abuse. It does not necessarily have to be physical; it can also be emotional, stealing money or physically restraining someone against their will. If your loved one is in a home, it is important to pay attention to how they are being treated. Below are some common types of elder abuse.
Types Of Nursing Home Abuse
In a study presented before the senate in 2002 in the United States, one third of nursing homes in the United States in 1999-2002, were found guilty of abusing the elderly. The study projected that the abuse would escalate in the coming years.
Abuse in nursing homes can take place in many forms. Some abuse may be obvious and some may not. The following are the different types of abuse that the elderly might go through in nursing homes.
- Financial Abuse. A staff member in the nursing home may decide to steal money or even property from a resident by accessing their personal details. They may also manipulate an elderly person to change their deed or will. Staff members can also charge a resident fake fees so that they can deprive them of their savings.
- False Imprisonment. This is when the nursing home staff prevents residents from freely moving within the home. They use tactics such as threats or taking away something that the resident uses to move around such as a wheelchair or crutches.
- Neglect. Neglect can be classified as abuse if it results in possible or serious harm. For instance, if a resident needs help to eat and the staff refuses to help him/her, then the resident can become malnourished and even die of starvation.
Signs That Your Loved One Is Being Abused In The Nursing Home
Each form of abuse has different types of warning signs. You should be very weary if a staff member in the home does not want you tospend adequate time alone with your loved one. If your loved one’s personality also suddenly changes then you should also find out why.
Signs of physical abuse include:
- Broken bones
- Sudden weight loss
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Marks from restraints
Signs of sexual abuse include
- Contraction of STDs
- False dementia
- Showing excessive fear around specific people
- Visible anger or depression
Signs of financial abuse include:
- Recent revision to deeds, wills or trust
- New mortgage contracts or loans
- Loss of personal property
- Frequent withdrawal of large amounts of money from the bank
What You Should Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
You should take action the moment you suspect that an elderly person is being abused in the nursing home. Here is a list of the things that you should do:
1. Verify The Elderly Person Is Being Honest
The first thing that you should do is establish whether your loved one is telling the truth. You can talk to other residents who seem coherent. You should also go over their problem with them and take photos of any recent marks, prescriptions and gather any medical records.
2. Consider Moving Them
If you are worried that they are being abused, you should transfer them to another facility
3. Inform The District Attorney Or The Police
Most states require you to report elder abuse the moment you verify that it is happening. If the district attorney determines that the evidence you presented before them is enough to be classified as criminal behavior, they will file charges against the nursing home.
4. File A Complaint
File a complaint with your state’s adult protective services, social services or senior protective services.
5. Hire A Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
Hire a New Bedford nursing home attorney who specializes in personal injury, elder abuse or nursing home law.
Filing A Legal Claim
Nursing homes are supposed to be a place with high standards of care and it is unfortunate that some people can take advantage of the elderly. Filing a lawsuit against a nursing home can turn out to be a very complex process. At Kevin P Landry law offices, we are in the business of helping people especially in moments when their loved is injured or needs help.
Contact our New Bedford offices today at 508-999-0800 for a free initial consultation and we will ensure your case gets handled with care.