You want the best possible care for your elderly loved ones. But especially if they are in assisted living or a nursing home, where you are unable to provide this level of care because you rely on others to do their jobs well and care for those you love, you must be aware of what is going on.
What are the types of Nursing Home Injury or Abuse?
There are various types of abuse or injury that nursing home residents may suffer. These include:
- physical abuse
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
- neglect or abandonment
- financial exploitation, and
- healthcare fraud.
What are the Warning Signs?
The warning signs can differ from one person to another, from one situation to the next, because there are so many different types of abuse and injury. Therefore, it is essential to understand that the warning signs are not always typical or what you would expect in a given situation.
Nevertheless, both the Administration on Aging (AOA) and the National Institute on Aging suggest keeping an eye out for the following signs of abuse or injury:
Warning Signs of Physical Abuse
- Sudden injuries or physical conditions, such as fractured bones, broken bones, sprained joints, bruises, or burns, and
- a sexually transmitted disease diagnosis without an adequate explanation
Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse
- a sudden change from normal behaviour
- Withdrawal from social activities
- The isolation imposed by the caregiver, such as refusing to allow family or friends to visit the resident, and
- The presence of a caregiver who is aggressive, uncaring, or demeaning verbally.
Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse
- an unexplained sexually transmitted disease appearance, and
- trauma, such as bruising or swelling, around the genitals
Warning Signs of Neglect or Abandonment
- evidence that shows the resident’s medication is not being properly administered
- signs that the resident’s personal hygiene is deteriorating
- lack of food
- living space is unexpectedly dirty
- clothing or bedding is soiled
- an appearance of bedsores or ulcers, and
- Living space lacks basic necessities such as heat, water, or electricity.
Warning Signs of Financial Exploitation
- unpaid monthly bills or inability to pay bills
- giving excessive and unexpected gifts, especially to non-family members
- giving away control of financial affairs to a caregiver, and
- an inability by the resident to explain personal financial transactions
Warning Signs of Healthcare Fraud
- medical treatment or equipment that is unexpected or appears to be unnecessary
- excessive diagnostic testing
- The inability of caregivers to adequately explain the need for specific equipment or treatment, and
- billing insurers or medical providers for services that were never provided
What You Should Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect that a nursing home resident is being abused, call 911 or your local law enforcement authority as a first step. You might also want to contact Adult Protective Services.
It might also be a good idea to speak with a Nursing Home Lawyer in your area about your situation. Because each state has its own procedures for protecting nursing home residents, the lawyer can help you report the abuse to the appropriate state agency and follow up on any reports made to local law enforcement agencies. You and your lawyer can also discuss whether any additional legal steps are necessary.
You have the right to seek full and fair financial compensation for your suffering regardless of whether the nursing home abuse or neglect was a single incident or a recurring event that caused you or your loved one emotional or physical injuries. An elder abuse lawyer can fight on your behalf.
Khashan Law Firm is a well-known and respected personal injury, elder abuse, and nursing home negligence litigation firm in Southern California. If you believe a loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence, neglect, or abuse in Southern California, you should act quickly and call us at 951.461.2387 to schedule a free consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney.