Studies suggest that as many as 24.3% of nursing home residents have experienced at least one instance of physical abuse. Abuse can take subtler, but no less damaging, forms, including emotional violence and neglect. If someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, an attorney will help you explore all possible legal options. First, however, you need to know some of the common signs of mistreatment.
How to Tell if a Loved One Is Being Abused or Neglected in a Nursing Home
1. Personal Hygiene Issues
A nursing home resident who is neglected might lack proper personal hygiene. Nursing facilities are supposed to look after the hygienic needs of residents regularly, so not honoring this duty can produce some telltale red flags. An increase in body odor, failing dental health, unclipped nails, and bedsores are all potential indicators.
2. Unexplained Wounds
Unexplained wounds are common signs of physical abuse. This can include broken bones, sprains, bruises, cuts, or scars. Redness, swelling, or bruises on the wrists can indicate that the facility has been improperly using restraints on the residents. The residents’ belongings, like their eyeglasses or clothing, may be damaged with no explanation.
3. Behavioral Changes
Emotional or physical abuse or neglect can trigger behavioral changes in seniors. The victim may exhibit dementia-like symptoms, such as frequent forgetfulness, mumbling, or rocking back and forth. They may be quick to anger or start to withdraw, showing classic signs of depression like chronic sadness, lack of energy, and hopelessness.
Take any of the above signs seriously and alert the proper authorities. An attorney can help victims and families seek justice, and the team at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC, will advocate for you and your loved one at every step of the process. Since 1982, they have been representing clients throughout western Wisconsin, the Coulee Region, and the Driftless Area. Their attorneys offer legal services in injury and wrongful death cases, as well as workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability claims. Call (877) 784-1230 or visit their website to schedule a consultation with an attorney.