No one wants to be tasked with the chore of finding a nursing home for a loved one, despite the importance of the process. Because most elderly parties are a bit rambunctious, traditionally, they do not want to leave their homes and surrender their independence to a nursing home. Despite the difficulty of the decision, families rely on the nursing home to care for their loved ones properly. Unfortunately, there are situations where caregivers mistreat elderly patients. While physical abuse is easy to identify, emotional and psychological abuse tend to go unnoticed. By paying close attention to your loved one when you visit with them, you will be able to conduct a bit of an investigation yourself by watching their behaviors and notating any new or strange behaviors.
Even though families go the extra mile to ensure the best care for their family members, through research, conducting site visits to nursing home facilities and interviewing caregivers, there are still times when those loved ones may show signs of elder abuse and neglect. It is estimated that over 2 million seniors are the victims of some form of abuse or neglect annually in the United States at the hands of those responsible for their care, as a personal injury attorney Dekalb County GA trusts can explain. Some common forms of abuse are as follows:
- Physical Abuse: bruising, untreated wounds, sprains, broken bones or a sudden change in behavior of the elder
- Emotional or psychological abuse: agitation, depression, being withdrawn or an extreme willingness to please.
- Neglect: weight loss, extreme thirst, untreated bed sores or other health conditions and unsanitary living conditions.
- Financial exploitation: unexplained modifications in a will, fear or confusion when discussing finances, forgery, sudden changes in bank accounts, stealing or improper use of a power of attorney, guardianship or conservatorship
In the event of nursing home abuse, you should contact a professional who will be able to articulate your rights and the rights of your loved one. Because you aren’t certain or aware of the legalities of the matter, you should reach out to someone who can assist you in determining the next step following an injury; you may be entitled to financial compensation for any inconvenience introduced by the abusive situation. To ensure that you receive the necessary assistance, it would be in your best interest to speak with a professional, sooner than later.
Thanks to contributor Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into nursing home abuse and personal injury practice.