Making the decision to move your loved one into a nursing home is always difficult. In addition to worrying about the high costs associated with long-term residence in a nursing home, you also may worry about the level of care and attention they’ll receive—especially if they require frequent supervision and medical treatment.
While most nursing homes are safe and provide effective and prompt treatment and care for their residents, some put residents at risk of serious health problems and even abuse. Nursing home abuse and neglect are more likely to occur when nursing home owners and administrators prioritize profits over resident safety and health.
To maximize their profits, some nursing homes don’t hire enough staff members to give all residents the care they need. That means residents may be overlooked, or overworked staff may make dangerous mistakes, such as giving residents the wrong medication. Nursing homes also may hire underqualified employees who aren’t properly trained or educated in their fields, which can also significantly increase residents’ risks.
There Are Many Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect may be obvious right away, or they may be difficult to detect for months or even years. Furthermore, some residents may complain to other staff members or their family immediately after abuse occurs, while others may remain silent. Because every abuse or neglect case is different, and because it can happen at any nursing home, it’s important for family members to be vigilant about their loved ones’ treatment.
Common types of abuse include:
- Physical abuse—Staff members or even other residents may hit, shove, kick, bite, burn, slap, or physically restrain victims in nursing homes. The signs of physical abuse are often, but not always, obvious, and they may include bruises, cuts, abrasions, burn marks, and even broken bones.
- Sexual abuse—Nursing home residents are vulnerable to sexual abuse, which can include sexual harassment, assault, and rape. Sexual assault isn’t always immediately obvious to others, and signs can include symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases, bleeding, bruising, or tearing in the genital area, and ripped or soiled underwear and clothing.
- Emotional abuse—Even when residents aren’t being physically harmed, they can be abused emotionally, mentally, and psychologically by staff members and other residents. Types of emotional abuse include yelling, threatening, intimidating, blackmailing, humiliating, and ignoring residents.
- Financial abuse—Nursing home residents may have valuable assets in their personal possessions, bank accounts, or even in their wills. Financial abuse can occur when residents are victims of petty theft or fraud, or are coerced into making changes to their wills and other financial assets to benefit staff members.
Common types of neglect include:
- Deprivation of necessities—Everyone needs food, water, clothing, and shelter to survive. In addition, many nursing home residents also need frequent medical treatments, including daily medications. When residents don’t get these daily essentials, they may suffer serious health problems that can even be life-threatening.
- Abandonment—Many nursing home residents rely on their caretakers for some or all of their daily living tasks. When the staff members in charge of their wellbeing don’t check-in on them regularly—or leave them in their rooms, in common areas of the nursing home, or even in public unattended—nursing home residents are put at risk of serious adverse effects.
It’s important to remember that nursing home abuse and neglect can occur at any time. Even if your loved one’s nursing home has a stellar reputation, all it takes is a single incident to do significant harm to your loved one physically, emotionally, financially, or all of the above.
Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect? Call Us Today.
Unfortunately, elder abuse is all too common. Because of that, nursing homes are often well prepared for allegations that abuse or neglect has occurred. Accusing your loved one’s nursing home of mistreating them and attempting to get compensation on your own can be a difficult process, and months or even years of back and forth is the last thing you need to deal with during this stressful time.
At Parrish DeVaughn, our Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyers know how to deal with nursing homes and how to build strong, evidence-packed claims that they simply can’t ignore. If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated, don’t wait to get the experienced legal representation you deserve. Contact us today to find out how we can help. We have years of experience fighting for the rights of abuse and neglected nursing home residents, and now we want to help your family.