Nursing home errors affect thousands of defenseless older adults every year. Tragically, incidents are likely underreported because the abuse, neglect, and manipulation can be hard to spot when you aren’t by your loved one’s side at all times. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse. If you notice anything awry, don’t hesitate to reach out to a nursing home negligence attorney.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home errors typically fall into one of these four categories:
- General neglect stems from the failure to keep a nursing home clean and hazard-free.
- Physical abuse results in resident injury.
- Psychological abuse may cause depression or fear.
- Financial exploitation is the most common and underreported type of elder abuse in the US.
Signs of Nursing Home Negligence
Protect your elderly loved one by watching for these signs of nursing home abuse:
- Bedsores: When nursing home attendants fail to regularly change bedding or reposition bedridden patients, bedsores may develop. This sign of general neglect could mean other forms of mistreatment are also taking place.
- Poor hygiene: Some older adults struggle to perform personal care tasks independently. Therefore, staff members may need to assist with bathing, using the toilet, and getting dressed. A neglectful caretaker may ignore these needs and leave the resident in soiled clothing or bedding. Watch for dental problems, unkempt hair, overgrown nails, and foul odors in your loved one’s room.
- Malnutrition or dehydration: It’s up to attendants to confirm that patients are eating and drinking enough to remain healthy. Be on the lookout for excessive weight loss, fatigue, yellowing skin, and complaints of hunger or thirst. Left unaddressed, malnutrition and dehydration can lead to seizures, organ failure, and wrongful death.
- Puzzling injuries: Don’t take cuts or bruises on your loved one’s body lightly. Staff members should be able to adequately explain such injuries. If they cannot—or if severe injuries such as broken bones, dislocated joints, or bite marks occur—immediately call an attorney for nursing home negligence.
- Mood or behavior changes: The psychological effects of emotional, social, or physical abuse can be severe. Watch for anxiety, depression, agitation, hopelessness, low self-esteem, and inexplicable mood swings.
- Financial trouble: Unscrupulous staffers may take advantage of vulnerable nursing home residents, stealing their credit cards, forging their signatures, and tricking them into emptying their accounts. Signs this may be happening to your loved one include unpaid bills, missing belongings, unexplained bank withdrawals, property transfers, and suspicious changes to estate planning documents.
Get Help Filing a Claim
Don’t let these signs of nursing home negligence go unnoticed. If you see anything that troubles you, or your loved one complains of being abused, get in touch with Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC. Our nursing home negligence lawyers in New Jersey will help you seek justice and protection through legal solutions. Call us at 862-263-0770 or contact us online to schedule your free, one-hour consultation. A Spanish translator is available upon request.