Many of us will, at some point, have to consider finding an appropriate nursing home for an elderly loved one at some point. While we might want to try to care for them at home, the fact is that, oftentimes, this is not possible. Many elderly individuals require specialized care, particularly if they are suffering from a degenerating cognitive disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. In the United States alone, nearly two million Americans live in long-term care facilities and, unfortunately, many of them will suffer abuse at the hands of a caregiver.
It is important that you regularly visit your loved one and are aware of the signs of neglect and abuse, so you can intervene if you ever suspect abuse is occurring. Below are some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect:
- Physical Abuse: If your elderly loved one is being physically abused by one of his or her caregivers, some of the signs you should look out for include unexplained broken bones, dislocations, sprains, bruising, scars, and welts. You might also notice signs of restraint on his or her wrists or broken glasses. You might also observe warning signs in the behavior of the caregiver. For example, if the caregiver refuses to leave you alone with your loved one, it is possible that he or she has been physically abusive.
- Emotional Abuse: Not all abuse leaves a mark. In some cases, a caregiver might engage in emotional abuse, which can be incredibly detrimental to the wellbeing of your loved one. Signs of emotional abuse include unusual behavior, such as mumbling, sucking his or her thumb, and rocking behaviors. You might also observe the caregiver being controlling or engaging in belittling behavior.
- Sexual Abuse: It might seem out of the question to even imagine that anyone would sexually abuse someone in such a vulnerable position, but it is actually not uncommon. Signs of sexual abuse include unexplained STDs, bruising near the genitals or around the breasts, stained or torn underwear, and vaginal or anal bleeding that is unrelated to a medical condition.
- Neglect: Unlike other forms of abuse, caregiver neglect might not necessarily arise from malicious intentions. Instead it is often the result of an understaffed facility or staff members who are not properly trained to care for elderly residents. Regardless of the reason, it is still a form of abuse that can cause your elderly loved one pain and suffering. Signs of neglect include the presence of bed sores, an unusual loss of weight or dehydration, unsafe living conditions, a soiled bed or dirty clothes, and being inappropriately dressed for the weather.
- Financial Exploitation: The elderly can also be financially taken advantage of, so it is crucial for a trusted family member to oversee their finances and ensure a nursing home caregiver is not financially exploiting him or her. Signs of financial exploitation include missing cash, unexplained withdrawals, changes in power of attorney or property titles, and unusual goods or services that he or she could not have signed up for.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Las Vegas
If you suspect your elderly loved one is being abused by a caregiver at his or her nursing home, you need to act quickly and take legal action. At Shook & Stone in Las Vegas, our personal injury attorneys is dedicated to fighting on behalf of the injured and will provide the exceptional legal representation you need to ensure the responsible party is held accountable for your elderly loved one’s suffering.