A nursing home provides a safe place for many elderly individuals, but sometimes that is not always the case. As a lawyer can tell you, more than 200,000 cases of nursing home abuse occur in the United States each year. Knowing how to spot abuse is challenging because it is not always obvious. Abuse can come in many forms, such as physical injuries and psychological and financial abuse. Some of the most common signs of abuse commonly seen in nursing home cases are described below.
Physical injuries are a common sign of nursing abuse. Your loved one may have injuries or scars that look suspicious and/or ones that may not seem suspicious, such as bedsores. As a trusted bedsore injury lawyer like one from Kreizer Law can explain, a bedsore or pressure sore is a common injury that many nursing home abuse residents develop. Still, for the most part, these are preventable with proper care. They typically occur due to a patient not regularly being repositioned in their bed or chair. Whoever has a duty of care for a resident must ensure that they are being repositioned often so that bedsores do not occur. Any explained injuries could indicate that a resident is experiencing abuse or neglect.
If a resident does not receive adequate nutrients and/or proper hydration, they could develop illnesses that can be life-threatening or even fatal. It is especially dangerous if they need a particular and specialized diet. A common sign of nursing abuse is if a resident is not receiving proper meals and/or getting fed regularly. Suppose you notice signs of malnutrition or dehydration in your loved one, such as skin discoloration or weakness. In that case, you may want to investigate further and file a nursing home abuse claim if one is unfortunately needed.
Elderly residents in nursing homes may sometimes be restrained if they are distressed or unwilling to follow instructions. This is done for their safety and the safety of caregivers or staff attending to them. However, in abuse cases, a victim may be restrained unnecessarily and/or improperly. Restraints that are too tight or improperly attached can cause bruising to the victim, rub on their joints, and other physical issues that can cause pain.
Uncharacteristic Behavior Changes
If your loved one is suddenly exhibiting unusual behavior, it could be a sign that they are going through abuse. A nursing home victim who has suffered physical abuse may be uncomfortable around the staff member who has abused them. Another kind of abuse is psychological. An example of psychological abuse is financial abuse, which can result in victims being blackmailed or forced to change their will for their abuser. Any unusual behavior changes around caregivers should be observed and reported.
Anxiety or Fear Around Individuals
An abuse victim in a nursing home can display sudden fear or anxiety around the person committing abuse. If you are near your loved one and notice them acting strangely whenever certain individuals approach or assist them, there could be abuse. Record your observations and include them in your claim.
Handling a nursing home abuse case is often challenging, but hiring a skilled lawyer can provide relief and valuable legal support. Schedule a consultation immediately if you believe your loved one may be a victim of abuse.