Signs of Nursing Home Abuse to Look out For
When an elderly loved one, such as a parent or grandparent, can no longer take care of himself or herself at home, you and your family may be faced with the difficult decision of looking into options for nursing homes.
You carefully debate this heart-wrenching decision, and may come to the realization that you cannot provide the care they need on your own. After researching and visiting nursing homes, you feel confident that the staff at the one you chose should fulfill their promise and provide skilled and compassionate care round the clock. You should be reassured that your loved one will be taken care of in their new living situation, and is in good hands in this new living situation.
Tragically, the unthinkable can happen, when staff members abuse or neglect your loved ones.
This abuse is shocking and devastating, and is a complete violation of your trust. You feel upset and angry thinking about what your dear loved one had to endure. Nursing home abuse can take on various forms, including physical, sexual, emotional and even financial abuse that can cause serious and permanent damage and put your loved one’s health at high risk.
The staff should have been providing the highest level of care, not unethical and disturbing neglect and abuse. You may feel guilty for sending your loved one to a nursing home, but the institution and its staff have a duty to uphold high standards, and must be held accountable for their wrongdoing.
Let’s take a closer look at the prevalence of nursing home abuse, risk factors and signs of abuse, as well as how you can take action to get your loved ones the justice they deserve.
How Prevalent is Nursing Home Abuse?
It is estimated that more than two million cases of elderly abuse are reported each year. However, as the elderly are vulnerable, especially due to medical conditions, it is less likely that they can or will report abuse. Therefore, there are many instances of abuse that go unreported, and the scope of this devastating issue is likely much larger.
According to the Office of Victims of Crime, only one in 24 cases of abuse is reported to law enforcement or adult protective services.
What are Risk Factors of Abuse?
As discussed, the age of elderly residents puts them at an increased risk of abuse. Other risk factors include previous exposure to traumatic events, poor physical health, functional impairments and dementia.
Nursing Home Abuse at a Glance
- Approximately one of every 10 elderly individuals will experience abuse.
- Elder abuse increases the risk of premature death by 3x.
- 50% of nursing home staff have admitted to physical and emotional abuse or neglect of residents.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
If your loved one is in a nursing home, it is important to look out for signs of abuse. Some signs may be physical such as bruises or skin tears, which may be located in areas that are hidden. However, other signs may be emotional, such as depression, withdrawal from social activities, lack of communication and more.
Common Signs of Abuse
- Broken Bones
- Improper Hygiene
- Social Withdrawal
- Lack of Communication
- Sudden Change in Behaviors, Appetite, Sleep Patterns
What Should You Do if You Notice Signs of Abuse?
If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you should contact an experienced Kansas City nursing home abuse attorney. A skilled lawyer can provide an initial consultation to answer all of your questions. If you chose to hire a lawyer, he or she can help gather crucial evidence for your case, hold those responsible accountable and obtain justice for you and your loved one.
Your Kansas City Lawyers Are Here to Help
If someone you love has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect, call the experienced Kansas City Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at the Goss Law Firm at 816-888-5000 to speak about your situation for free.
When you call, an experienced lawyer will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and provide legal advice to help you during this difficult time. There is never a fee for the initial consultation. Our compassionate team is dedicated to holding negligent nursing homes accountable and obtaining justice for your loved one. Give us a call today.
The Goss Law Firm — Your Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys