IDENTIFYING ABUSE & NEGLECT
Nursing home abuse and neglect are far too common in the United States. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that as many as one to two million seniors over 65 years old have been abused by those who they depend on for their care. With the senior citizen population in the U.S. rapidly growing, the incidents of elder abuse and neglect are expected to increase as well.
Many seniors living in care facilities are unable to communicate any abuse, and since many do not have friends or relatives to visit them regularly, countless incidents of abuse go unreported. If a friend or loved one is living in a nursing home or other facility, visit them frequently and pay attention to anything that seems amiss.
Common injuries caused by substandard nursing home care include:
- Falls and other trauma
- Medication errors
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Mental abuse
- Pressure sores (also referred to as bed sores and decubitus ulcers)
- Wandering and elopement
- Clogged breathing tubes
- Improper tracheotomy care
- Improper restraint
- Infection and sepsis / septic shock
- Signs Of Neglect & Abuse
There are several signs and symptoms that may be red flags about the safety or the treatment provided for the nursing home resident. These include:
- Injuries that require emergency treatment or hospitalization
- Bed sores (pressures sores, decubitus ulcers)
- Open wounds
- Cuts, bruises or welts
- Unusual and unexplained bruises
- Significant Weight loss or Broken Bones
- Unusual and unexplained lethargy or sedation
- Significant changes in medication
- Urine and fecal odors
- Poor personal hygiene
- Unexplained or unexpected death
- Illnesses or condition changes that are not promptly reported to the physician and family
WHAT CAN YOU DO
Determining whether your loved one is being abused or neglected can be a difficult and complicated situation, especially if your loved one is incapable of comprehending or communicating what is happening. Visit your loved one, and take note of anything that seems unusual or different.
If you suspect that a nursing home resident has been abused, neglected or injured, bring your concerns to the attention of the nursing home’s administration or management. You can also report your suspicions to law enforcement. Abuse of the elderly is a crime in New Mexico.
Consult with an attorney who can explain your rights and options. The threat of a lawsuit or legal action is one of the most significant means that nursing home residents and their families have to fight against substandard and abusive conditions.
Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your case.