At some point in our lives, while taking care of our elderly relatives or parents, we might not be able to devote time for ourselves. Here is where the need for a long-term care facility or nursing home arises. You will get to know more about nursing home abuse and how you can get legal aid if any of your aged loved ones have suffered abuse while living in the nursing home. However, before getting into the legal part of nursing home abuse, it is necessary to understand the topic of nursing home abuse and how a nursing home abuse lawyer can help.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse happens when long-term care facility residents are harmed, either physically, mentally, or both, due to negligent and intentional acts from caregivers. In such a situation, the facility and its staff can be held responsible in the following respects:
- Inadequate care
- Negligence in screening employees
- Inadequate supervision of employees
- Improper maintenance of the facilities
The issues mentioned above can occur due to burnout, improper or incomplete training, and understaffing. As a result, the residents may face trauma, medical emergencies, or even death. It is necessary to remember that any resident participating in a federal Medicare program is provided the right to be free from abuse, including verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse. It also includes using restraints for any other purpose except for the safety of the resident and staff. Residents of facilities not regulated federally must follow laws set by state law.
After all the information given above on the question, “what is nursing home abuse?” it is time to understand the different types of abuse that occur with aged relatives or loved ones in a nursing home. Further, you will also learn how a nursing home abuse lawyer can fight your case.
Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes
Although the term nursing home abuse creates an image of physical injuries, it is often the opposite. The term might also include emotional harm, sexual battery, and more. Recording these signs of abuse will also help create a strong case against the nursing home facility with the help of a nursing home abuse attorney. The most common forms of nursing home abuse and their most common signs are as follows:
Some nursing home staff members can intentionally harm the resident, which is seen as committing physical abuse. Common examples of physical abuse are hitting, pushing, kicking, etc. Some visible signs of physical abuse are as follows:
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Cuts, lacerations, or skin tears
- Head or dental injuries
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fatigue, insomnia, or other sleep issues
- Illness or infection
- Broken or fractured bones
- Bruises, burns, and welts on the skin, and others
Emotional abuse in a nursing home facility includes any action that causes harm to an older person’s psychological well-being. Some examples of emotional abuse can be the staff yelling or taunting them or isolating them from family and friends. Signs of emotional abuse are as follows:
- Trauma and PTSD symptoms
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Lowered confidence and self-worth
- Anxiety and depression
- Onset of violent or aggressive behavior
- Substance abuse
NEGLECT BY THE NURSING HOME
At some nursing homes, residents may be left unattended for a long time which places them in a dangerous state both physically and mentally. In addition, nursing home neglect can lead to many health issues like bedsores, malnutrition, infections, and other health problems. Some signs of nursing home abuse are as follows:
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- New or worsening infections
- Unchanged or filthy bedclothes or sheets
Some residents also experience sexual battery when living in a nursing home facility. This type of abuse includes any form of unwanted sexual activity. Here are some signs of sexual abuse:
- Unexplainable STDs
- Bruises or welts on the lower portion of the body
- Inappropriate physical contact with staff members
OTHER FORMS OF ABUSE
Nursing homes may also be involved in other forms of abuse like money mismanagement under elder financial abuse. Some signs of financial abuse are:
- Strange transactions or charges
- Creation of new credit cards or bank accounts
- New changes to the power of attorney
Due to differences in injuries and symptoms that appear in each nursing home abuse case, the extent of abuse can be understood by the symptoms and how serious they are. With the help of a competent nursing home abuse attorney, you can file a strong case of elder abuse.
Filing a complaint against the nursing home administrative staff, caregivers, and medical staff with the help of a competent nursing home abuse attorney. Starting with recording all the evidence of elder abuse, you can ensure that your aged loved one can get justice and medical attention.
Find out more about aged care Melbourne by visiting Melbourne Aged Care Group