One of the most difficult decisions a family may have to make is the decision to place their elderly loved one in a nursing home. Unfortunately, as the life expectancy continues to increase and we are living longer, it is a decision that more and more families are faced with. Deciding to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home is not always the easiest decision for families to make, but in some cases it is the most sensible. Families may find it difficult to provide the adequate care for a loved one because of work or time constraints. In other cases, a loved one’s health may require more specialized care given by nurses and other caregivers. When that decision is made and a facility is found, the expectation of the family is that their loved one will be well taken care of with the dignity and compassion they deserve. However, as a nursing home lawyer Camden, NJ families recommend can attest, many of these facilities end up being a place of nightmares for elderly residents who suffer terrible abuse and neglect at the hands of the very people entrusted to care for them. Here is what you should know to spot a potential case of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Nurses, caregivers or other attending staff are responsible for the wellbeing and safety of a resident that they have a duty to care for. However, many instances of incidents often because a staff member is negligent or too aggressive with patients. Interactions between staff and residents can be stressful or frustrating at times, but it does not excuse irresponsible and abusive behavior that results in harm inflicted against residents. No matter how difficult or uncooperative a resident may get, the caregiver must remain professional and treat them with respect and care so that the resident doesn’t suffer an injury.
There are different types of neglect and abuse that nursing home residents may be subjected to. For example, staff may fail or refuse to provide the resident with enough food and water, help them to shower and attend to personal care, use the bathroom, or dress then in appropriate clothing. Staff are responsible for making sure the needs of residents are acknowledged and taken care of, and they must check on the patient periodically in case they need help moving to another location or need assistance with an activity. A nursing home resident’s room must be properly cleaned and well kept. If the facility itself is cluttered, hallways filled with obstacles, not sufficiently cleaned, or there are other hazards not taken care of, then all of these issues can create a dangerous environment for residents. If a staff member is negligent and does not care for a resident adequately, the resident may get injured
Another sign that a Camden, NJ nursing home lawyer knows can indicate nursing home neglect is bed sores, also referred to as pressure sores or pressure ulcers. When a resident is unable to move themselves, it is critical for nursing home staff to regularly reposition them in order to prevent these pressure sores from developing. Other signs of abuse or neglect are broken bones, bruises, cuts, welts, or other unexplained injuries.
Along with physical abuse signs such as pressure sores, scars, cuts or bruises, emotional abuse is a common warning sign of neglect or abuse in a nursing home. A staff member may act in a manner that is overly aggressive, inflicting fear and anxiety in a resident. They may be verbally abusive and use harsh language against them. These signs are more subtle, but they are just as damaging to an elderly individual. If you are visiting your loved one at a nursing home, see how your loved one reacts to staff. If they become suddenly uncomfortable or anxious around a certain individual, it may be a sign that abuse is occurring.
In addition to both physical abuse and neglect, there is another form of nursing home abuse that has become more and more common, which is financial exploitation. It is one of the more difficult signs of abuse to find, because your loved one may not believe it is actually happening or may refuse to give more details about it out of fear. A staff member may be manipulating your loved one through scare tactics or by gaining their trust so that they can gain access to their assets. Signs that your elderly loved one may be a victim of financial exploitation are:
Nursing home abuse is a serious problem that should not be tolerated. If you suspect that abuse or neglect is occurring, record as much information as you can about any evidence regarding the incident. Try to speak to your loved one about their experience, but if they are not uncomfortable don’t press them further as it may worsen their trauma. Talk to a lawyer to learn about what steps you should take and learn more about filing a claim.
Contact a Dedicated Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm for Help
If you suspect your elderly loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you need to take the steps right away to make sure that they are protected. In addition, your family may also be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries and losses your loved one has suffered. Contact Davis & Brusca, LLC to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a compassionate nursing home lawyer in Camden, NJ and let us get your loved one the financial justice they deserve.