Nursing home abuse is a horrifying reality in the United States. While we want to think that our aged loved ones are safe and sound in the nursing home or assisted living facility we have chosen for them, every day in this country, senior citizens are abused physically, emotionally, psychologically, sexually, and financially. Your senior loved ones may be abused by nurses, doctors, certified nursing assistants, other residents and patients, and administrative staff. Employees in the nursing care industry may abuse your senior loved ones overtly or they may abuse them covertly.
There may be obvious signs of elder abuse and neglect, or there may be no apparent signs or symptoms. The abuse and neglect may go on for days, weeks, months, or even decades before it is detected. And, in the saddest and most horrifying cases, the abuse is not detected until it’s too late, and your loved one has died.
Some of the most common causes of nursing home abuse and neglect are understaffing, overworking, and underpaying the hard-working men and women who choose to care for the aged as their career. But all too often, people in the senior living industry do not get the support, respect, and compensation they need and deserve for the life-changing work they perform. It’s when support staff is not appreciated by the administration that leads to problem, and the victims are always our aged loved ones.
If your senior family member has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or some other institution that cares for the aged, you will need a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer right away. If your family member is still alive, you should seriously consider removing him or her from the offending location immediately, find a new home, and then hire a nursing home injury lawyer to fight for you and your family.
The Warning Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect
There are many warning signs your aged loved one may be neglected including:
- Dirty linens or clothes
- Bladder and bowel issues being ignored
- Medications not being given
- Doctors’ orders not being followed
- Poor hygiene
- Dirty room or apartment conditions
- Ignored by staff
Physical abuse of the elderly may show these signs:
- Bruises, bumps, lacerations, abrasions, broken bones, burns
- Sexual abuse in the form of genital and/or anal bruising, tears, infection, bite marks on breasts, rape
- Threats of violence or punishment
- Bed or pressure sores
- Medical malpractice on the part of doctors and nurses
- Unwarranted use of restraints
Psychological abuse or neglect of the elderly may show these signs:
- Badgering or intimidation through yelling or inappropriate language
- Nonverbal intimidation
- Withholding of personal items, privileges, entertainment, or social activities
- Unwarranted discipline
- Breaches of privacy as in a violating HIPAA rules
Seniors can also be financially exploited; their identities can be stolen, as can their credit cards, property, and cash.