When our loved ones become older, a host of new concerns for their wellbeing comes into play. Suddenly, safety issues become a cause for concern, often leading to the help of a nursing home. Nursing homes are supposed to be a safe place, where your loved ones can live and enjoy their lives in a stable environment while all their medical needs are met. People need to be sure that their loved ones will be treated with care and quality, but unfortunately, that may not the case.
Sadly, elder abuse or neglect is all too common at nursing homes, statistics suggesting that 1 in 10 elders in nursing homes experience abuse every year. This frequency occurs often because the elderly are more susceptible to poor treatment due to their often compromised health status or cognitive impairment, like many disabilities and dementia. However, many say even this number is underestimated, as many cases of abuse and neglect go unreported.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 2 in 3 nursing home staff members stated they were guilty of elder abuse or neglect just within the past year. Often the signs are too subtle to be noticed by anyone other than those in close proximity.
Horrible accounts of abuse, abandonment, and neglect taking place in nursing homes have come to light, raising concerns for the safety of all those entrusted to nursing home care. Signs of physical abuse can come in the forms of bedsores becoming infected, unexplained falls, unexplained injuries such as broken bones, bruising, head trauma, and improper use of medical or physical restraining. It can also take the form of medication errors or even overdoses. Signs of neglect can be poor hygiene, soiled bedding, malnutrition, and dehydration. There can also be emotional signs of abuse and neglect, such as crying, being agitated, fearful, or complaints of poor treatment.
Finding out a loved one has been abused or neglected by a nursing facility can be difficult to manage. Families expect their loved ones to be treated with love and care, as they deserve. Contacting a lawyer can help start the process of making things right again. Nursing home abuse laws have gone into effect from local, state, and federal governments, making sure loved ones are treated properly, and providing a path to justice for when that does not happen. Nursing homes should be held accountable for negligent actions that result in harm to innocent victims. Nursing home abuse or neglect is dreadful. Speaking with an attorney can assuage your concerns and provide the next steps to moving forward.