Choosing to place your loved one in a nursing home is an emotionally charged and tough decision. But at the end of the day, it’s all about ensuring their quality of life. Your loved one should live with dignity, respect, and have excellent care in their nursing home. Sometimes, they aren’t treated this way.
When seniors are neglected or abused, their health can seriously decline. Your loved one deserves better. You may be able to get compensation for your loved one with the help of a Lexington nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer from Golden Law Office. We go above and beyond to fight for the rights of nursing home abuse victims in Kentucky and will do everything we can to get you a favorable settlement.
What Kinds of Nursing Home Abuse Occur?
There are several ways someone can commit nursing home abuse, often referred to as elder abuse, even if it’s unintentional. Nursing home residences may not have enough staff working, and the staff there can easily be overworked and underpaid. While this is no excuse for a nursing residence to neglect your loved one, it might explain inconsistencies in their care.
Common forms of nursing home abuse are:
- Pushing, shoving, or handling too roughly are all forms of physical abuse.
- Sometimes, those taking care of your loved one may treat them cruelly through harsh words or hostile attitudes. They can also keep your loved one from participating in activities and seeing friends in the home, which negatively hurts them socially and makes them feel isolated.
- Sexual abuse can occur in nursing homes. It’s difficult for victims to speak out, especially if they suffer from memory loss or have trouble communicating.
- People can take advantage of the elderly through theft or other means to steal their money. Because seniors in nursing homes may have medical conditions like dementia, they may not realize that someone is taking their money.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
If you’re concerned that your loved one is being abused, there are signs you can keep an eye out for when you visit your loved one. Try to go outside of high-traffic visiting hours and go as often as you can. That way you can see the typical day-to-day schedule and track any changes in your loved one.
Look for any of these red flags:
- Unexplained Bruises or Cuts. While accidents can happen and seniors can bruise more easily than younger people, they shouldn’t have multiple unexplained bruises or cuts on a regular basis.
- Fall Injuries. One of the biggest risks for seniors is falling. If they’re being neglected, there’s a chance they may try to walk or reach for something on their own and fall. These injuries can result in infection or hip fractures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that in the most severe cases, falls can be fatal.
- Change in Mood. If your loved one seems uncharacteristically frightened, angry, or withdrawn, you may want to investigate what’s making them feel this way.
- Evidence of Overmedication. In some cases, nursing homes will overmedicate their residents because it’s easier to control them that way. Look for unusual signs like being spaced out and if they can’t communicate like they used to—going from speaking coherently to sudden mumbling is a concern.
- Malnourished or Dehydrated. Seniors need excellent nutrition and to stay hydrated. Lack of nutrition can make seniors weak and put them at a higher risk of getting sick.
- Poor Hygiene. Your loved one should be clean, dressed in fresh clothes, and have good dental care. A sudden decrease in their personal hygiene can indicate neglect.
- Unhygienic Environment. Get a look around your loved one’s room and the residence in general. The place should be dusted and vacuumed. Since it’s a nursing residence, accidents can happen, but those should be cleaned immediately. Unhygienic environments are also a breeding ground for disease and illness, which put older people with weaker immune systems at risk.
When it comes to how you feel about where your loved one is living, go with your gut instinct. If something feels off and you don’t think your loved one’s quality of life is high, then you can ask around the residence. Speak to other families about their loved one and if they’re happy with the care they’re receiving. You can also speak with staff and see if they’re patient, kind, and prioritizing your loved one’s care.
Help Your Loved One with a Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one is being abused in their nursing home, you may have feelings of guilt or sadness that they were subjected to that. It’s important to know that this wasn’t your fault and you can hold the people responsible for their neglect and cruelty.
Get in touch with Golden Law Office today at (859) 469-5000. You can set up a free consultation with a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Lexington, KY to talk about your case and what the next steps are to getting justice for your loved one.