If your loved one is in a nursing home or long-term care facility, you may be concerned that they’re not getting the care they deserve. When your loved one is being wrongfully abused or neglected, their health can severely decline and their quality of life is not what it should be. If you fear for your family member’s safety, you should be aware that there are certain signs of elder abuse that you can look for. You should also know that neglect– in all forms– is a type of abuse and is legally considered abuse.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), these are some of the most common signs that could indicate elder abuse:
- Physical Wounds. Bruises, wounds, welts, and broken bones may appear if your loved one is being neglected or handled too roughly. While an occasional bump may happen, your loved one should not have consistent or major wounds. A particular red flag is if the staff seem to have no explanation for the wound or refuse to talk about how it happened.
- Mood or Behavior Change. If your loved one’s behavior completely changes and they seem more withdrawn or scared, it could be because of abuse.
- Unsanitary Living Conditions. Your loved one should always be in clean clothes, bedsheets, and living in a sanitary environment. If they’re not, it could be because the staff is neglecting to do it even though it’s essential to your loved one’s health.
- Poor Hygiene. Your loved one needs a regular schedule for bathing, dental care, and hair brushing. Many residents cannot do these tasks on their own. Failure to maintain your loved one’s hygiene is a form of neglect.
No matter the form of abuse, the lawyers at Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO will find out what happened and how the nursing home failed to prevent it from occurring.
What Prevents Residents from Coming Forward?
You may be wondering what could keep your loved one from speaking up if they’re being abused. Unfortunately, there may be several contributing factors that prevents your loved one from telling someone.
Many people in nursing homes may have dementia or other forms of memory loss. It’s common for those with dementia to have issues with communication and verbalizing that’s happening to them. There’s also the chance that they’re not lucid all the time. They may not have the awareness that abuse or neglect is happening.
Fear or intimidation can also prevent residents from coming forward. They may be afraid that they won’t be believed or taken seriously, and what could happen if it gets back to the individual perpetrating the abuse. They may think that the backlash would include more abuse.
Staff may also try to stop the resident’s family from seeing them. They could refuse for them to see their loved one, but they could also hover when the family is visiting. Their constant presence could intimidate the resident and keep them from saying anything.
Another way that staff may retain control over residents is through over-medication. It’s a form of abuse to use medication to subdue residents to make it more convenient for the staff. Too much medication could make residents completely unaware of their surroundings and prevent them from communicating effectively.
While these may keep your loved one from coming forward, you can be their advocate. Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO will investigate how the nursing home operates and how your loved one’s rights were violated. We will get the evidence needed to prove that your loved one was wrongfully abused and deserves justice.
Seek Legal Aid from Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO
When you recognize signs of elder abuse, it’s important to act quickly. After you get your loved one to a safe environment, then you can focus on filing a claim. These cases can be complex and it’s best to have an experienced lawyer at your side. Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO has handled successful cases like these in the past and we are ready to protect your loved one’s rights.
If your loved one faced elder abuse or neglect at their nursing home, you should get in touch with us as soon as possible and schedule a consultation, free of charge. We’ll start to review your claim and find the best way to proceed that will benefit your loved one.