While it should never be the case, nursing home abuse happens a great deal. Some forms of abuse are intentional, while other forms are due to neglect. It is important to be able to recognize various forms of abuse so that you can get your loved one the care that they need and take legal action when appropriate.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Neglect can come in a wide range of acts, but they are all similar in that it is a result of improper care to the nursing home resident. One of the most common forms of neglect is not attending to the patients needs when it comes to toileting. This includes not getting them to the toilet often enough, not changing them in a timely manner or not ensuring that they are clean after they have been changed. This can lead to one of the most common issues found in nursing homes, which are bedsores. When bedsores are allowed to form the results are extreme pain, infection and in the worst cases even death.
Bedsores can also form from another form of neglect. Patients that are not mobile must be turned on a regular basis. Having pressure on one area of the body for extended periods of time leads to the death of cells in the skin. This then can lead to the wounds commonly known as bedsores. Not being turned regularly is absolutely neglect as it is well known what the risks are.
Other Forms of Neglect
There are many other ways in which a nursing home resident can be neglected. These include not properly administering medication, not bathing them regularly, not reporting illness or complaints that they make, not providing adequate water and nourishment and leaving them attended for long periods of time. If you suspect that your loved one may be being neglected it is imperative that you file a formal complaint and seek the advice of an attorney to ensure that their rights are protected.
Intentional Nursing Home Abuse
Just like neglect, intentional abuse can come in many forms. While one would like to believe that people in the health care industry always act with the highest moral integrity, that is not always the case. In order to be able to watch for signs of abuse and take action if needed it is important to know the various ways in which abuse may occur.
One way in which nursing home residents may be abused is with intentional violent acts. This could include hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping or any other contact that is intended to cause physical pain. If you notice that your loved one has bruises that can’t be explained you should immediately bring this to the attention of the staff. If it seems that this is a reoccurring issue then it is definitely time to seek the assistance of a lawyer.
Emotional and Verbal Abuse
Emotional and verbal abuse can also cause a great deal of harm to a patient. This can be done in many different ways and can be one of the hardest to identify. Some types of emotional and verbal abuse can include name-calling, screaming, threatening, isolation and even removing privileges for no reason other than the fact that they have control.
Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Some signs that your loved one may be experiencing this type of abuse include seeming easily startled by noises when they hadn’t been before, significant changes in their behavior or statements that they do not like a certain staff member.
When it comes to abuse in this type of setting it can be very hard to identify. This is especially true for families of residents that no longer have the ability to communicate or suffer from dementia. Paying attention to changes in behavior or routines as well as their well being and hygiene can help to identify problems that may go unnoticed otherwise.
If at any point you are concerned that your loved one may be the victim of abuse or neglect it is imperative to take action immediately. Abuse and neglect can lead to declines in health, serious injury or even death. it is not always possible to be present regularly to monitor their care, but by paying as much attention as you can to their health and hygiene you can more easily notice changes that may signify abuse and neglect.
If you are at all concerned that this is occurring the best course of action is to contact one of our Broken Arrow nursing home abuse lawyers. They have the experience needed to determine if abuse or neglect may be occurring and can help you to take the right legal action.
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