A nursing home should be a place of rest and comfort. It is the best space for your elderly loved to live out their sunset years. If your family can no longer offer the support and care needed by a senior person in your family, having them stay in a nursing home may be the best option. You expect the staff at such a home to carry out their duties with the utmost professionalism and compassion. It may cause you the most disorienting shock and dismay to discover that your loved one is instead being regularly abused.
If the nursing home administration fails to address your concerns, then you should file a lawsuit against them.
Types and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse consists of any intentional or inattentional act that leads to the harm of a patient. It encompasses physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. Your loved one is unlikely to come right out and tell you that they are being abused. A combination of embarrassment and pride will prevent them from doing so. It is your job to watch for the signs.
If every time you visit your loved one, you see marks, bruises, and marks that cannot be explained, it may be a sign that your loved one is being physically abused. Soiled clothing, a strong and persistent stench, and a general dishevelment may indicate that your loved one is not being properly looked after.
If your loved one is suddenly withdrawn or lashes out randomly at you and others who visit them, it might be a sign that they are being emotionally or sexually abused.
The financial abuse of the elderly is one of the most common and most underreported crimes in the country. If you see a sudden depletion of your loved one’s accounts or notice missing pension or Social Security checks, it may be a sign that they are being robbed by a member of staff. Indeed, there is an entire line of criminals who join the nursing home profession to get access to vulnerable old people. You should be aware of this if you notice that things are not quite right with your loved one’s finances.
Getting Your Loved One Justice
Your first move should be to hire a lawyer. You need confirmation that your loved one is being abused. A lawyer who specializes in nursing home abuse cases will know how to speak to them so that they tell all that has happened to them. Your loved one may not speak to you, but they may be willing to speak to a lawyer who knows the right questions to ask.
Your lawyer will also interview current and former staff members who may know about the abuse but have been reluctant to speak out. Your lawyer will also contact and interview former patients and their family members. Such abuse is rarely sporadic; it tends to be systematic and to occur over a long period of time. Your lawyer will prove that the failure of the nursing home to put in proper safeguards and monitoring mechanisms is at the root of the abuse.
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