A nursing home should be a place of care and compassion. It should be a place in which your elderly loved one feels safe and comfortable. They deserve to live their sunset years with dignity and in perfect calm. The people who work in nursing homes should go about their duties with the utmost diligence and professionalism. If you have discovered that the exact opposite is taking place, that your elderly loved one lives in an unsafe, unstable, and abusive environment, you should be outraged. You should also take legal action.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse consists of any intentional or unintentional act that causes harm to a patient. Physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse are the main kinds of mistreatment. Your loved one is unlikely to tell you that they are being abused. A combination of pride and embarrassment will prevent them from doing so. You must instead watch for the signs.
How to Tell if Your Loved One is Being Abused
If every time you visit your loved one, they have bruises or marks that can’t be explained, it may be a sign that they are being physically abused. Soiled clothing, a persistent stench, and the presence of sores throughout their body are also indications that they are not being looked after.
If your loved one becomes suddenly withdrawn or lashes out randomly, it may be a sign that they are being emotionally or sexually abused.
Financial abuse of the elderly is one of the most common and the most underreported crimes in America. If you notice a sudden depletion of your loved one’s bank account or the disappearance of their Social Security or pension checks, it may be a sign that there is a thief among the nursing home staff. Indeed, some criminals join the nursing home care profession with the express purpose of gaining access to vulnerable old people.
How to Respond to Nursing Home Abuse
You may want to approach the management of your suspicions. If they do nothing to address the issues or give you an unconvincing explanation of the state of your elderly loved one, then you may need to file a lawsuit. Before you take any action or make any official claims, you should hire a lawyer. If you strongly suspect that the management may destroy evidence or take some other inappropriate action before you have a chance to sue, then you should have your lawyer investigate and gather evidence straightaway.
Your lawyer will know how to interview current and former employees of the nursing home. Among them will be people who may have wanted to speak but did not do so for fear of losing their employment. Your lawyer will also interview the families of current and former patients. The abuse that occurs in nursing homes is usually systematic. If they have done it to your loved one, they have done it to others as well.
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