Watch For The Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse0
If your loved one is confined to a nursing home facility, take time out to be concerned about possible nursing home abuse. Many families don’t think about things like this–they just assume that their relative is being given the proper treatment and are being closely monitored by staff. Nursing homes, in fact, are usually understaffed and the employees are overworked and stressed out–a breeding ground for abuse toward the helpless patient. The first type of abuse I will mention is physical abuse–this includes assault and battery (sexually also) conducted by a staff member who may have a mental problem or emotional problem. The problem is being taken out on the patient. Physical abuse can also include unreasonable or unauthorized restraining or a patient being made to stay in a certain confined area. Also it could include not feeding the patient or medicating the patient properly. Look also for the surfacing of injuries that cannot adequately be explained by anyone and also investigate any reports of nursing home abuse directly from the patient.
Now, physical abuse is not the only way your loved ones can be abused in a nursing home. Verbal abuse can also be devastating and harmful to a nursing home patient’s condition. Notice the actions of your relative when you visit him or her in the nursing home. If an outgoing person becomes suddenly and noticeably withdrawn and quiet–something may be wrong on the part of the staff conduct. The patient may appear to be unusually upset and seem frightened of people. You may also notice that a patient has recently started to behave nervously—such as rocking back and forth, biting the nails, wrenching the hands and shaking. Or the patient may suddenly and curiously ask to be away from the crowd and left alone in their room. Sometimes a once loving and caring relative will suddenly turn mean and vicious toward their family–this may also be a sign of verbal nursing home abuse.
Neglect is also a form of abusive behavior by the staff of a nursing home. A nursing home patient needs particular items for everyday living–food, cleansing and grooming products, clean clothes, and help with personal hygiene. If the nursing home fails to supply these for the patient’s use–this is considered neglect. Also if the resident’s room or any facility inside the nursing home where the patient will be exposed to is unsafe or nasty, the resident is being neglected. Last, but certainly not least, if the patient requires special medical attention the situation needs to be addressed by the nursing staff. The patient may be under nourished or have bed sores that could have been prevented if not for neglect.
Be very aware that there are much more serious results that can occur from nursing home abuse. It all depends upon the extent of the abuse. One frightening and devastating incident is the death of a resident under unexpected or neglectful circumstances. There have been incidents where a patient wandering around outside was hit by a vehicle or took a fall resulting in death or a serious injury. Watch your relative who is a nursing home resident for rapid, unusual weight loss which is not consistent with any known ailment that the patient has. Sometimes a resident’s illness is ignored when they need emergency treatment or need to be taken to the hospital.
In short, if you have a close relative or friend in a nursing home, you cannot avoid watching for signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse. If you see the abuse or suspect it, contact your lawyer.
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