Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

NJ Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Get help in protecting the rights of your loved ones

Warning Signs of Nursing Home AbuseDespite a family’s careful research, planning, and best efforts to find a good nursing home or assisted living facility for their loved one, many residents still face physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, or suffer neglect that leads to medication errorsbed sores, or other medical complications.  The consequences of these types of abuse and neglect can be devastating and, in some cases, even lead to death. Family members and loved ones of nursing home residents need to be vigilant in recognizing warning signs of abuse.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Physical abuse occurs when nurses or the staff in a nursing home intentionally inflict bodily harm on a patient. Slapping, hitting, punching, and rough handling can lead to serious injuries such as bone fractures, lacerations, bruising and swelling, or emotional trauma. Unreasonable physical restraint can also fall under this category of abuse. When restraints are used as a form of punishment or to keep a patient confined, it constitutes abuse.

Because many residents suffer from cognitive impairment and cannot advocate for themselves, abusive circumstances may not be clear to the family visits during visits. This is particularly true with verbal abuse.  Verbal abuse is often in the form of name calling, use of obscenities, yelling, or verbal threats which only occur when staff members are alone with the patient.  And while this type of abuse doesn’t leave physical marks, it does present very real emotional trauma and can lead to severe depression, anxiety, and combativeness.

Neglecting a resident’s physical, medical, or emotional needs can leave a person feeling isolated, in pain, or lead to medical complications, such as bed sores or malnourishment. Leaving patients to sit in soiled diapers for prolonged periods of time deprives them of basic dignity, and can result in  skin breakdown, infections and other serious complications. Patients who are routinely left alone in their room without visitors or interaction with staff or doctors can suffer a serious decline in their cognitive and mental abilities. Residents should be moved out of their rooms during the day to take advantage of social interactions available in daily activities whenever possible.

Sexual abuse of nursing home residents is one of the most shocking and traumatic forms of abuse. Molestation, rape, or unwanted sexual advances or comments can leave patients depressed, fearful, and emotionally or physically traumatized. Patients often fear retaliation if they report the abuse, or are apprehensive because they are afraid that their claims may not be taken seriously. Victims can contract sexually transmitted diseases or suffer physical and mental injury.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Any sign of physical harm, such as cuts, bruises, unexplained swelling, or broken bones, needs to be reported and investigated immediately. Documentation, along with pictures of the injuries, need to be kept in the patient’s file so that patterns of abuse may be identified. There will also be an investigation report or incident report the facility may ore may not provide to the family.  If they refuse, ask why.  Family members need to be persistent in their demand for answers and diligent in checking for signs of continued abuse.

Dehydration, malnourishment, unexplained weight loss, or bed sores are often signs of neglect. Many nursing homes are understaffed, which can cause many of these issues and problems.  It is the responsibility of the nursing home facility to ensure that there is enough staff on hand to attend to the needs of all patients. Failure to provide these basic services should be reported immediately with demands for a full investigation.

Sudden fearfulness or requests from patients to not have a certain nurse or staff member present can be a warning sign that they are suffering physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse. Many residents hesitate to speak up and specifically identify a person and their actions for fear of retribution.  As such, it is imperative for family members and staff to pay close attention to sudden changes in behavior or personality. Depression, anxiety, withdraw from social interactions, refusal to eat, or unusual quietness can be warning signs of emotional trauma.

    Request a Free Consultation

    What seemed to me to be a complicated case finally came to a close with a successful outcome. Mark Davis was diligent, perseverant and focused on my case and he was certainly compassionate and patient with me where and when needed. He is very intelligent and highly knowledgeable of all of the legal facts and nuances that emerged throughout the lengthy case period. While the circumstances that forced me to initiate the legal process I would not wish upon anyone, Mark was my legal partner all the way and I thank him for his attention and commitment.
    Mark Davis quickly sets himself apart from the rest. He puts his knowledge and experience to work from day one to prove you have made the right choice in trusting him and his staff. Mark is attentive to your needs and is driven to get you results. Mark Davis is the attorney you want in your corner!
    Mark is very dedicated to his clients.. There's never been a time I needed him and he wasn't available for me to help me understand my case. I would recommend Mark Davis to anyone looking for an attorney.
    Mark is very professional. He takes the time to listen to my questions and answers each one. I feel confident and informed after speaking with him. I have no doubt that he is there to help to me. I recommend Davis & Brusca to everyone!
    I was seriously injured in a car accident. Mark Davis represented me to the fullest. Besides delivering results I was hoping for Mark did so much more. Mark checked in with me time and time again to see how I was feeling, how I was doing, how my family was, did I need anything, etc. Mark Davis cares about his clients. Most importantly Mark Davis fought for me.  He fought hard for me through long nights, over the weekends.  He fought endlessly til I got what I deserved which, by the way, didn’t take long at all. Mark Davis, from my family and I, thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication towards us.
    They will do their best. I've had the pleasure of working with the Davis' and I can only say good things. I have no doubt that if you need their services, they will do their best, show compassion, and look out for your best interests.
    Very Professional! Would use their services again. Amazing!
    Everyone I Spoke with was Very Professional. I worked with Mike and Nicole on a nursing home negligence case. Mike was very honest and upfront about what to expect. Everyone I spoke with was very professional and they always kept me informed on the status of the case. They responded to my emails quickly and made me feel like they truly cared. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for an excellent nursing home negligence attorney.

    Schedule a consultation with one of the dedicated lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC