When a family places an elderly loved one in a nursing home, it is an emotional experience and a difficult decision. Families search for the best care and services and trust that the facility where their loved one will live is a safe and comfortable place. Unfortunately, there are many cases of elder abuse that occur in nursing homes, and families always must be aware of this possibility and be vigilant to protect their senior family members.
If your loved one is a victim, our Philadelphia nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can help recover damages.
Elder Abuse – How it Happens
There are multiple types of abuse that can occur in a nursing home. Not all abuse is physical or obvious. Be aware of the following ways in which nursing home staff or other residents may take advantage of or violate your loved one.
- Physical or sexual abuse: These are the most obvious and most commonly known forms of abuse. Physical abuse can involve hitting, pushing or any other type of action that physically harms the resident. Nursing home staff or other residents can commit physical abuse, and signs of this type of abuse may be most noticeable in the form of bruises or other injuries.
- Emotional abuse: In some cases, the abuser may use words and psychological abuse to harm an elderly person. This might include name-calling, putting the person down and other forms of psychological abuse.
- Neglect: The failure of nursing home staff to provide adequate care to a resident is also a form of abuse. This can become a serious problem if it goes unnoticed. For example, a resident who needs assistance to eat could suffer weight loss, malnourishment or other serious harm if the nursing staff neglects their duty to feed her.
- Financial abuse: Nursing home staff or other residents may steal from your loved ones while they live in the nursing home. Other ways financial abuse can occur is by staff members charging false fees to residents in order to earn additional money over and above their salaries. Gaining access to bank accounts or credit card accounts is another way that staff members sometimes commit financial abuse — or they may coerce residents into altering their wills, trusts or deeds to property.
If you suspect abuse, our Philadelphia nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys can review the case to help you collect evidence to prove it. But first, be wary of some possible signs of abuse.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Each time you visit your loved one in the nursing home, be aware of his or her mood, demeanor and physical state. Observe the environment, the condition of his or her room and personal belongings, and monitor financial assets. Below are some typical signs of elder abuse.
- Injuries such as broken bones or bruising – from physical abuse of falls
- Overmedication or signs of sedation
- Weight loss, signs of dehydration or malnutrition
- Marks on the wrists or other parts of the body left from restraints
- Signs of ongoing depression or anger
- Fear or nervousness around a particular staff member or resident
- Mumbling, rocking or sucking actions
- Anxiety about leaving a certain area of the nursing home facility
- Sudden changes in financial assets, such as large or frequent withdrawals from a bank account
- Sudden changes in a will or trust
- Missing personal property
- Signs of sexual abuse such as torn or bloody undergarments or complaints of injuries in the genital area
Talk to Our Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
If you believe your loved one is being abused in his or her nursing home, take action quickly. Verify any facts you have to confirm your suspicions, and then contact Philadelphia nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers. Inform authorities — including police — if appropriate. Consider removing your loved one from the facility.
Call Cordisco & Saile LLC for help if you need guidance or legal representation. Call us today at 215-642-2335 or contact us online to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.