The population of the U.S. is aging and more and more are going into nursing homes and senior communities. These are always expanding in hopes of holding more patients. Unfortunately abuse in nursing homes is becoming a very widespread crime. The patients are incredibly vulnerable to varying types of abuse from physical abuse to the theft of their personal property.
Several nursing home abuse cases are caused by staff members that are too inexperienced or under qualified for their roles. Some situations cause employees to be frustrated and they take these frustrations out on the residents of the home. There have been studies that have shown that over half of deaths that are regarded as suspicious in nursing homes could have been caused by neglect. This neglect can include dehydration and malnutrition.
Older adults are vulnerable to abuse because of certain conditions they may have such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Seniors that have a history of domestic violence in the home are more susceptible to receiving abuse in their nursing home.
One of the most difficult decisions a family member is forced to do is figure out whether or not to house their loved one in a nursing home. The decision is extremely emotional and sometimes not entirely thought out. When you choose to put a loved one into a nursing you this means you are entrusting them to the caregivers. If your loved one has been victimized by an employee of the nursing home then it is your job to seek out legal help. An experienced and sensitive abuse lawyer will help you understand the legal rights that you and your family possess and will help you choose a course of action.
There are several types of fairly common abuse other than nursing home abuse. These include neglect and exploitation, physical, and mental. The side effects of these can be awful. If a loved one is mentally abused they may become afraid of certain things, depressed, very withdrawn, their behavior will change and they will be less willing to communicate. Physical abuse signs include bruises and swelling, cuts and burns, and broken bones. Finally neglect comes in the form of bedsores, not smelling clean or looking unkempt, and not being treated medically. If their property is missing this can be a sign of exploitation and financial abuse.
If your loved one is the victim nursing home abuse then you must first seek medical treatment for them and then contact an attorney. Due to the emotional state of the incidents you may not remember the legal rights that your victim has. After getting care for them the first step to get justice is to find a qualified lawyer. They will figure out whether or not a legal claim should be made or pursued.