How To Spot Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence

February 24, 2017 Nursing Home Abuse

It is a shame that we have to discuss nursing home abuse and neglect. At the end of our lives we hope to be treated with dignity and respect. We hope for our aging parents and grandparents, our aging friends, to live their remaining days with dignity and respect.

While we expect nursing homes to properly care for the elderly individuals entrusted in their care, unfortunately, many nursing homes provide less than proper standards of care, have relaxed safety regulations, and ill equipped or overworked staff.

Understanding Nursing Home Neglect, Negligence, and Abuse

There are numerous actions and omission on the part of nursing homes and long-term care facilities that would give rise to a claim against them for elder abuse. Elderly individuals can suffer from:

  • Neglect: failure to receive proper medical, physical, or emotional care, including dehydration, malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, etc. Neglectful actions of staff or attendants may lead to personal injury incidents.
  • Negligence: violations of the proper standard of care, falls, medication errors, lack of proper supervision, negligent hiring practices, etc.
  • Abuse: physical or emotional.

Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse is more difficult to spot. Behaviors associated with emotional or psychological abuse can be erroneously attributed to mood changes or effects of aging.

Know the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect, Negligence, and Abuse

The National Institute on Aging, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, gives us signs of abuse to watch out for. You may notice the person:

  • Has trouble sleeping
  • Seems depressed or confused
  • Loses weight for no reason
  • Displays signs of trauma, like rocking back and forth
  • Acts agitated or violent
  • Becomes withdrawn
  • Stops taking part in activities he or she enjoys
  • Has unexplained bruises, burns, or scars
  • Looks messy, with unwashed hair or dirty clothes
  • Develops bed sores or other preventable conditions

Our elderly loved ones are some of the most at-risk and vulnerable members of our population. It’s critical that we keep a close watch for any of the above signs of neglect, negligence, or abuse. While it’s often nursing homes that get caught, remember that elder abuse can also occur in the home, perpetrated by family members or an in-home caregiver. We owe it to our elders to protect them.

Certainly nursing homes usually do a good job of caring for their patients, but these incidents of neglect, abuse, and unnecessary injury are too common. The attorneys at Matthew G. Miller are here to help you obtain compensation for the neglect, negligent, or abusive treatment of your loved one. If you would like to schedule a free personal injury case consultation to discuss nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Matthew G. Miller our Omaha, Nebraska, law firm at any time. Hear what our clients have to say about working with us.