What Should You Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
Many people depend on nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Missouri to care for their elderly loved ones and keep them safe. Unfortunately, the dependence on the staff members and caregivers in these facilities can leave your loved ones vulnerable to acts of abuse and neglect.
If you trusted a nursing home to care for a loved one and suspect abuse, take the following steps to protect them from further abuse and get help.
Warning Signs and Evidence of Nursing Home Abuse
In many situations, abuse may continue to unfold without consequence if nobody is looking out for warning signs. Signs of nursing home abuse can be challenging to recognize or mistaken for symptoms of the resident’s frailty, or caregivers may explain them to you that way.
If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, knowing the common signs are vital for their health and safety.
- Broken and fractured bones
- Bruises, welts, and scrapes
- Broken possessions
- Withdrawing socially
- Changes in behavior
- Scared or fearful of being left alone
- Exhibiting repetitive behaviors
- Stopping taking medication
- Unexplained venereal diseases and infections
- Bruising on or around the genitals or breasts
- Underwear that has been torn or stained
- Vaginal or anal bleeding unrelated to a medical condition
- Social withdrawal, angry outbursts, and self-isolation
- Poor appearance and general uncleanliness
- Weight loss that cannot be explained
- Left alone in soiled diapers and garments
- Being frequently injured or ill
- Failure to provide timely care for injuries or required medications
- Resident’s room frequently uncleaned/dirty
- Checkbook, credit cards, or personal documents missing
- Unexplained expenses
- Inability to remember certain purchases
- Recurring monthly payments for unknown programs
- Making charitable donations to unknown causes
- The resident is hoarding papers and becoming secretive about finances
Documenting Nursing Home Abuse
If you’ve noticed signs of nursing home abuse, it’s important to keep notes and document when your suspicions are raised. Write down when you first saw warning signs and include details such as dates and times. If you believe your loved one suffers from neglect or physical abuse, it may also be useful to take pictures as evidence.
Keeping track of the potential signs of nursing home abuse can make the reporting process easier and strengthens your case if it results in a criminal investigation or lawsuit.
How to Report Neglect or Abuse
Once you have documented potential signs of nursing home abuse, you can report them to the proper authorities. By reporting nursing home abuse using one of the options below, you can trigger an investigation into your loved one’s well-being and hold nursing homes accountable. Family, friends, or other residents can report nursing home abuse by contacting:
- Law enforcement or police
- Local ombudsmen
- Medical experts like doctors or nurses
- Long-term care facility or nursing home administrators
Why Should You Consult With A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
Nursing home abuse is unexpected by most families of elderly patients because of the trust and confidence vested in these healthcare facilities. A nursing home abuse lawyer’s goal is to help victims receive financial compensation for the harm they’ve suffered.
An attorney can report the nursing home abuse to the proper authorities and take the appropriate steps to ensure the resident’s rights are protected. It is essential to document all information relevant to the incident, as detailed accounts are often more likely to prompt investigations. If your loved one suffered severe or fatal injuries due to mistreatment at a nursing home, it’s essential to speak with an experienced nursing home attorney as soon as possible.
We’re Here To Help You
Every year thousands of nursing home and long-term care residents are subjected to abuse. At the Goss Law Firm, we understand that abuse of our loved ones is an abuse of our trust.
We know how devastating nursing home abuse is and how upset, angry, and violated you feel. Your loved one is vulnerable, and we want to give a voice to the voiceless. We fight to hold abusive or neglectful caregivers and the facilities that hire them to the highest possible standards of accountability.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in one of these facilities, let us put a stop to it now. We’ll treat your loved ones with the care they deserve and defend their right to compensation for the emotional or physical abuse they have suffered. Contact our office today at 816-839-6452 to schedule a free, no-risk legal consultation.