Spotting the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
At Law Offices of Gary Green, we work with a lot of people on a lot of cases. One type of case that we feel particularly passionate about is nursing home neglect and abuse. We want to ensure that nursing homes and assisted care facilities abide by the strictest regulations possible, and when they don’t, we want to ensure that our society’s most vulnerable citizens get the advocacy they deserve.
Because this type of abuse and neglect often happens to those with compromised faculties and fewer options for recourse, it is imperative that both staff and family members keep a watchful eye on the quality of care given to patients. Despite measures taken by the government to crack down on insufficient care, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirms that “nursing home residents continue to suffer unnecessarily from such clinical problems as bed sores (decubitus ulcers), malnutrition, and dehydration, which are easily prevented.”
If you know someone who currently resides in an assisted living facility, it’s important to know the signs of neglect and abuse, and keep in mind this indispensable piece of advice from HelpGuide.org:
At first, you might not recognize or take seriously signs of elder abuse. They may appear to be symptoms of dementia or signs of the elderly person’s frailty — or caregivers may explain them to you that way. In fact, many of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse do overlap with symptoms of mental deterioration, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss them on the caregiver’s say-so.
Common signs of elder abuse and neglect:
- Report of drug overdose or apparent failure to take medication regularly (a prescription has more remaining than it should)
- Unusual weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration
- Unsuitable clothing or covering for the weather
- Untreated physical problems, such as bed sores
- Unsanitary living conditions: dirt, bugs, soiled bedding and clothes
- Being left dirty or unbathed
Also, keep in mind that falls are an all-too-common occurrence in most nursing homes: “Deaths – sometimes even wrongful deaths – of approximately 1,800 nursing home residents each year can be attributed to fall-related injuries.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 16 to 27% of all nursing home falls are a result of environmental hazards that could have been avoided.
If you or a loved one suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Law Offices of Gary Green today, toll free at 1-888-4GARYGREEN or via email at gGreen@gGreen.com. Don’t wait another minute if you suspect a loved one may need your help.
Sources: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, HelpGuide.org, Nursing Home Abuse Center