Nursing home abuse affects many more of our seniors than we tend to believe.
According to NursingHomeAbuse.org, “it is thought that 1 in 10 elders over the age of 60 have been abused. One study reported that as many as 24.3% of residents experienced at least one instance of physical abuse while in a nursing home.”
Those numbers are shocking. And while many of our customers live at home and don’t live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, they may have at one point – or may in the future. Importantly, they may have family and friends who do – or will.
We reached out to Baron and Herskowitz, a Miami Personal Injury Law Firm who deals with nursing home abuse claims on a regular basis. Here’s is what they shared when it comes to recognizing potential abuse or negligence when visiting family and friends.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect that your elderly loved one is being mistreated, neglected or abused, you should contact an attorney immediately. The following are signs that something may be wrong:
- Unexplained bruises or injuries
- Untreated bed sores
- Your loved one seems distant or nervous
- The staff doesn’t allow you to visit with your loved one alone
- Your loved one denies visitors or wants to be left alone
- Your loved one is heavily sedated or seems out of it
- Unsanitary conditions such as unchanged bed sheets or dirty clothes
Any change of behavior may be a sign of maltreatment. You should pay attention to your loved one’s behavior and watch for signs. Many times, our elderly loved ones won’t tell us if something is wrong, maybe because they are embarrassed, ashamed or frightened. Or, in some cases, they may not be able to communicate well. It is up to you to protect your loved one, to watch for signs and to listen to your instincts.
What can you do?
If your loved one is under the care of a nursing home, there are some things you can do to help prevent negligence. Make frequent visits at different times of the day so the staff doesn’t know when to expect you. Get to know the staff. You should also pay attention to what is happening with other residents while you are visiting.
Take pictures. Write down what you see. Talk to other residents or their family and friends. Contacting an attorney may be the next step if you believe the resident has been neglected or harmed.
The nursing homes may be liable.