Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Few things make us more livid than nursing home abuse and neglect. Our loved ones, who have lived good, long lives, rely on nursing homes to provide the care they need. Too often, these facilities are understaffed in order to maximize profits, and patient care plummets as a result.
While sometimes this is the result of simple negligence, other times, nursing homes hire unfit staff members who abuse helpless patients for no better reason than pure sadism. If you are concerned that your loved one is being neglected or mistreated by nursing home staff, you should trust your instincts. You are probably right.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing homes are required by law to uphold principles and practices (P&P) for allowing family members to see their loved ones. If the nursing home denies you access to your loved one for any reason, it is time to get suspicious. While they may have legal cause to restrict visitors, they must have a verifiable medical rationale for doing so. Often, when there is abuse happening, the nursing home will attempt to restrict visitor access citing “safety reasons.” Often, they are attempting to cover up bruises from restraints, signs of neglect such as bedsores, or another serious issue.
Other signs include:
- Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations – This can be an indication of either overt physical abuse, a sign that the patient is not being cared for properly, or some other kind of negligence such as slippery or unsafe floors.
- Bruising, scars, and welts – Bedsores are a common problem in nursing homes when patients are not bathed regularly or left unattended for days. Additionally, welts and bruises on the ankles and wrists are an indication that the patient is being placed into restraints. You have a right to know why. Other times, there will be overt bruising from physical abuse.
- Refusal to let you spend time alone with your loved one – In cases where nursing home staff seems remiss about allowing you to spend time alone with your loved one without being under their watchful eye, that should throw up a red flag. Often, patients will seem afraid to say anything or watch their words carefully.
- Regressive behaviors – Those who are the victims of severe abuse often tend to regress into childlike behaviors. These include sucking one’s thumb, rocking back and forth, pleading, or crying.
- Sexual abuse – Love ones will notice bleeding in the genitals, unexplained STIs, bruising in the inner thighs, or other signs of sexual abuse.
- Signs of neglect – The will include dirty sheets, sores and welts on the body, preventable skin infections, serious dehydration, or malnourishment.
Talk to an Ohio Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
Every patient in a nursing home deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. If nursing home staff are abusing or neglecting patients due to understaffing or sheer cruelty, then they need to pay for their negligence. Talk to Lafferty, Gallagher, & Scott today for a free consultation.