Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
Placing a loved one in a nursing home for care is a difficult decision for many. Needless to say, when a decision is made to entrust a nursing home with such an important individual, family members fully expect their loved one to be cared for to the highest possible standard. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Too often, nursing home patients are neglected or abused. Many patients feel they cannot come forward. As a result, their families remain unaware of the abuse, and it can continue to occur. It is imperative for families to be on the lookout for the warning signs of nursing home abuse. We have listed some of the most common and important signs below.
Look for physical signs of abuse
Look for common warning signs such as bruises, bed sores, and cuts, as they may be symptomatic of abusive treatment. Bruises and cuts may occur for various benign reasons. This is especially true among the elderly, who are more susceptible to these types of injuries from minor occurrences. However, based on the severity of bruises, their placement on the body, and the frequency with which they occur, one can begin to make judgments if abuse may be occurring or not. Bed sores are also a signal that the patient may not be getting out of bed often or moved enough. That is a necessity for the elderly and one that workers should be providing.
Notice any changes in behavior
Something may be wrong if your happy and extroverted grandmother suddenly becomes quiet and sad. Social retreat, lack of eye contact, and other changes that are different from their normal behavior may all be signs that abuse is occurring. Because of the nature of abuse, many victims do not come forward or feel that they cannot, so looking for behavioral changes is vital in seeing if abuse is occurring and how it is affecting your loved one.
Listen, ask questions, and create a safe environment for open dialogue
Because many victims feel they cannot come forward, bring up the difficult conversations yourself and make sure they know they are in a safe space to discuss problems, no matter how difficult or painful. Your loved one best knows what has been happening to them, so making a point to listen to them, asking questions about any physical or behavioral changes you may have noticed, and ensuring they feel comfortable enough to discuss such matters with you can help reveal abuse and allow the victim to get the help they need.
Nursing home negligence and abuse are crimes that should be treated with the severity they deserve and effectively attended to so that the victims can get the help and justice they deserve. Call us if you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence or abuse. You may be entitled to compensation for your experiences. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC are here to help. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified attorneys, please contact us at 312-346-8620 today.