When you move an elderly loved one into a nursing home, it’s with the assumption that the staff there will take far better care of him or her than you ever could. While this is usually the case, abuse and neglect can—and do—occur in long-term care facilities.
If you think your relative is receiving substandard care—or being downright mistreated—your family may have grounds for legal action. Although filing a claim won’t erase the trauma your loved one suffered, it could yield the funds needed to relocate him or her to a much better facility.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common kinds of nursing home abuse so you can recognize the warning signs:
1. Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is characterized by intimidation, humiliation, manipulation, and other kinds of mistreatment through words or behavior. When nursing home staff terrorize the residents verbally, the consequences can be dire.
Seniors are already vulnerable to social isolation, loneliness, and depression, all of which can be worsened by emotional abuse. The most telling sign of emotional abuse is a dramatic change in mood, behavior, or demeanor.
2. Physical Abuse
Physical abuse refers to inflicting physical harm on victims. Actions that constitute physical abuse include pushing, slapping, and shaking. Handling immobile residents more roughly than necessary could also be deemed physical abuse. Signs of physical abuse include unexplained injuries like bruises, lacerations, and fractures.
3. Sexual Abuse
Sadly, sexual abuse is fairly common in long-term care facilities. Elderly individuals are incredibly vulnerable to those with bad intentions, and they’re not always inclined to speak out if they’ve been assaulted.
The signs of sexual abuse are similar to those of emotional abuse. While it can cause physical injuries, it more often contributes to depression and anxiety, which can change the victim’s personality. If your loved one seems withdrawn and no longer has interest in the things he or she once loved, sexual abuse may be to blame.
When people require around-the-clock care, neglect can be as harmful as downright abuse. Some of the most common forms of neglect in long-term care facilities include failing to feed, bathe, change, and roll over the residents as needed.
If your loved one is being neglected, it will probably be fairly obvious, assuming you know what to look for when you visit. Signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Bed sores;
- Soiled bedsheets or clothing;
- Poor personal hygiene;
- Rapid weight loss;
- Dehydration; and
- Wounds that won’t heal.
Should you notice any of the above, make sure to document it. You’ll need all such evidence to build a claim against the facility.
Discuss Your Claim with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Jackson
If you suspect nursing home abuse, contact Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC to determine how best to proceed. Our compassionate team will help your family gather the evidence needed to prove that the facility failed to provide adequate care so you can seek the damages you’re due. Call 601-487-8448 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Jackson.