Nursing homes are assisted living facilities for the elderly that provides long-term living and healthcare assistance to the senior population, including those who are differently abled or have a terminal disease. As we age, we might not be able to care for ourselves due to age-related decline in cognitive or motor function. As a result, long-term care such as that provided by nursing homes might become necessary after crossing a certain age, disease, or disability threshold. More than one million elderly individuals reside at nursing home facilities throughout the United States, making them a significant component of the US healthcare system.
Unfortunately, nursing home residents are at risk for abuse at the hands of the staff. While intentional abuse of the elderly is common in these assisted living facilities, neglect is the most common and dangerous form of nursing home abuse in the United States. If you discover that your loved one was subjected to abuse at a nursing home, you can hire the services of a nursing home abuse lawyer at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP in Dallas, TX to take strict legal action against the negligent party besides reporting them to the relevant authorities.
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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the official statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), one in three nursing home residents has been a victim of abuse at the hands of staff members. It is important to remember that abuse can manifest in multiple forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, etc. Identification of the type and signs of abuse is crucial to helping your elderly loved one.
Signs of Physical Abuse
You should suspect physical abuse if your loved one has unexplained physical injuries like fractures, sprains, dislocations, lacerations, bruises, or scars, particularly at unusual locations. Most cases of elderly abuse involve signs of restraint visible on the body and might have incongruent history and clinical presentation. Abusive caregivers also refuse to let the elderly be interviewed alone, a major red flag for abuse.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse occurs when caregivers display aggressive behavior towards the elderly, inflicting harm on their psychological well-being. This type of abuse is particularly dangerous because it might not be accompanied by any physical signs or symptoms. Emotional abuse manifests as anxiety, depression, dementia, primitive or child-like behavior, reluctance to speak, isolation, sudden changes in behavioral patterns, etc.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Signs of elderly sexual abuse include genital bruising or bleeding that is unrelated to any underlying medical condition, new-onset STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), unreasonable physical restraints, and more.
Signs of Neglect
Signs of neglect include bed sores, dehydration, malnutrition, asphyxiation, rapid/unexplained changes in weight, unsanitary conditions at or around the bed, frequent infections or bone fractures, changes in sleeping patterns, etc.
If your loved one suffered physical or emotional harm as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should consult an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Through legal action against the perpetrator of abuse, you can obtain fair financial compensation for your elderly loved one’s physical and emotional damages or death. Spotting the signs of abuse is one of the foremost steps toward protecting your loved ones and securing their legal rights.