Recognizing the Warning Signs of Abuse & Neglect
When you make the decision to place your elderly loved one under the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, you expect that they will be provided with the level of attention that they need and deserve. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. According to statistics from the National Center on Elder Abuse and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 91% of nursing homes throughout the country lack an adequate staff to properly care for their patients. This means that most nursing home residents in the United States are vulnerable to caretaker neglect and/or abuse—which may be, in part, the reason why nearly 6 million cases of elder abuse are reported each year.
If you are wondering what you can do to protect your elderly loved ones from nursing home abuse, the Tucson personal injury lawyers at Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi, PLLC encourage you to learn more about some of the most common warning signs. Abuse can take shape in several different forms, including: physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, sexual abuse and neglect. Apart from some of the more obvious indications of abuse (i.e. visible bruising, sudden weight loss, unexplained changes in behavior, etc.), most warning signs are much more subtle. Fortunately, the aftermath of abuse or neglect is much easier to detect when you know what to look for.
Some of the most common warning signs of nursing home abuse & neglect include:
- Unexplained injuries (bruises, broken bones, welts, etc.)
- Sudden changes in behavior / signs of fear or depression
- Rapid weight loss / signs of dehydration and malnutrition
- Lack of personal hygiene / development of bed sores
- Unexplained venereal infections / genital bruising
- Unsanitary living conditions (dirt, bugs, soiled linens, etc.)