How to Recognize Nursing Home Abuse
What Does Elder Abuse Look Like?
In some cases, it is relatively easy to spot the signs of elder abuse in a nursing home. For example, fresh bruises, cuts, fractures, and bone breaks appearing on your loved one’s person can be a clear indication that something sinister is happening. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse can also take forms that may not be immediately recognizable for what they are. Thus, our injury lawyers at Bill Easterly & Associates, want to ensure that you understand common signs that your elder is being abused.
Our firm has more than 25 years of experience practicing personal injury law. We’ve seen numerous cases of nursing home abuse that went on for longer than they should have because the signs went unnoticed. Throughout our years of advocating for the rights of personal injury victims, we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Thus, you can trust that we will handle your nursing home abuse claim with diligence and a passion to pursue justice.
Identifying Signs of Abuse
In order to understand what nursing home abuse looks like, it is essential to know the forms that abuse can occur in. The four most common types of abuse that occur in nursing homes are physical, emotional, sexual and financial. Physical abuse is the most recognizable, as it involves physically harming an elder, that generally results in visible marks and symptoms. Sexual abuse may result in physical symptoms, but it can often take the form of emotional abuse as well.
Emotional abuse may not be as easily identifiable. When a staff member emotionally abuses an elder, the effects are mostly internal. A staff member can use methods such as neglect, verbal cruelty, and false imprisonment to intentionally cause an elder torment, anxiety, fear, or any other undesirable emotion. A victim of emotional abuse may be on the receiving end of humiliation, ridicule, and unnecessary blame, or may simply be ignored by certain staff members.
Effects of emotional elder abuse include:
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Depression and anxiety that are not typical
- Unusual changes in behavior
- Weariness of certain staff members
- False dementia – mumbling or rocking
You can also detect emotional abuse by observing the staff members who care for your loved one. If a staff member seems harsh, rude, or impatient with your loved one, or refuses to allow you to see them, he or she may be revealing a small part of the abuse that is inflicted upon your elder on a daily basis. If your loved one is showing signs of any of the aforementioned behaviors and you notice suspicious behavior of a staff member, it is imperative that you consult with a personal injury attorney at our Nashville firm to take action.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse can be one of the most difficult to recognize, because even if you are aware of the effects, tracing the source to a nursing home staff member may not be easy. Our elders are not always capable of managing their finances, and often place trust in caregivers to look after their affairs. When this trust is taken advantage of, financial abuse is the result. It is not uncommon for a nursing home staff member to utilize an elder’s assets or insurance for their own benefits.
Exploitation of finances can take the form of bank account theft and may result in missing funds or unpaid bills, but it can also be done through scams, whereby questionable charges appear on your loved one’s bills. A staff member may also commit healthcare fraud and charge for services that are unnecessary or were never performed. Finally, he or she may make questionable changes to an elder’s wills, insurance plans, or powers of attorney.
Take Action Against Abuse in Nashville
If you believe that your elder loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, don’t let the establishment get away with it. A nursing home is intended to offer care and security to our loved ones, and staff members should be held to that standard. Nursing home abuse is unacceptable and can cause emotional, financial, and physical suffering for your loved one and your family. Pursue the justice that your elder deserves; let our injury attorneys help you hold abusive nursing home staff accountable.
Call today for a free consultation to stand up to elder abuse!