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Nursing Home Abuse: Everything You Need to Know to Take Action

For any family, making the decision to have a loved one move into a nursing home is a difficult one. We want to be able to care for our elderly family member, but there are situations when it is seemingly impossible to do with everything else going on. So, we put our trust in a facility to care for them.

However, there are numerous instances (past and present) that should be cause for concern when it comes to the health and safety of our loved one. It’s unfortunate, but nursing home abuse does happen and when it does, the family of the harmed individual can take action.

Here are some of the things that you should know about nursing home abuse, including the types that exist, how to spot signs, and what you can do.

Physical Abuse

The first idea many people have of physical abuse is direct contact between a staff member, other resident, or someone else and the elderly. Physical abuse, though, can be considered anything that causes physical harm, such as neglect resulting in a slip and fall.

Physical abuse is often recognizable by the visual effects associated with the action. For instance, if hitting occurs, bruising may be present on the patient. Similarly, if a resident is neglected and slips and falls, you may notice bruises, potential fractures, or worse, a brain injury.

Emotional Abuse

Not all types of abuse will have a physical impact on your loved one. This is especially true with emotional abuse in which someone on the staff, another resident, doctor, or other party insult, threaten, or talk down to your loved one in a manner that causes behavior changes and potential depression.

If your loved one seems distant during your visits—almost as though they are avoiding any kind of contact with a specific person in the facility—you may want to dive deeper into those feelings. This behavior may be an effect of someone emotionally abusing your loved one and he or she is doing whatever they can to avoid confrontation.

Financial Abuse

This type of nursing home abuse is not talked about nearly as often, but it can have a serious impact on the elderly who is victimized. Financial abuse can come in several forms from direct theft of funds to forging signatures to benefit the abuser. For instance, financial abuse can occur when a staff member convinces the elderly to allow him or her access to bank accounts to pay his or her expenses, yet the staff member uses the money for their own benefit.

Make sure you’re well aware of your elderly loved ones financial situation and you’re checking accounts often. If you notice any strange spending habits or if there is a new authorized user on the account, this is a red flag and you should be sure to mention it as soon as possible to determine if something is wrong.

Your elderly loved one may not report the abuse out of fear of retaliation. In fact, many times nursing home abuse does go unreported and it can leave the victim in a physical, emotional, and financial hardship. It’s important to recognize the signs so you can protect your loved one.

At Williams Newman Williams, our Jackson nursing home abuse lawyers have the skill, knowledge, and experience you need to move forward successfully. Let us help you and your family recognize your rights and go through the entire process with peace of mind.

Call our firm today at (601) 228-6722 and speak with an attorney about your potential case. We’re here for you every step of the way.