It’s never an easy decision to place your elderly loved one in a nursing home. While this may be the best way to provide them with the care they need, it also involves placing a great deal of trust in the nursing home. All too often, nursing homes fail to provide the quality care your loved one deserves. Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious problem in our country, and it’s important to be on the lookout for warning signs that your loved one is receiving this subpar treatment.
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you have rights. Jim Miron has helped elder abuse victims in the Bridgeport area for over 25 years, and he is committed to making sure your loved one receives the support necessary during this difficult time. He can help you get your loved one out of this abusive situation and hold the negligent facility accountable for their actions.
Nursing home abuse often goes unreported. This may occur for several reasons:
- Your loved one may not feel comfortable advocating for themselves
- Your loved one may not be able to effectively communicate that abuse has occurred
- Your loved one may remain quiet out of fear that the abusive situation will become worse
Therefore, it’s crucial that you treat every visit to the nursing home as an opportunity to evaluate the care your loved one is receiving. By carefully observing what is going on at the nursing home, you are more likely to identify the warning signs of abuse or neglect. This observation should include:
- Paying attention to your loved one’s hygiene – Poor hygiene is often a sign of neglect.
- Evaluating the conditions at the nursing home – If the facility looks dirty or unsanitary, or if there is always a bad smell when you visit, it may be a sign of neglect.
- Look for any bruises or injuries – Ask your loved one and the staff how these injuries occurred. Conflicting stories or unexplained injuries can be a sign of abuse.
- Look for changes in your loved one’s behavior – This can be a sign of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
- Evaluate the way the staff treats your loved one as well as other residents – It is likely that the staff will be on their best behavior when you are around and show that they are attentively caring for your loved one. This is why it’s always good to look at the way other residents are being treated. Are they spoken to in a warm and friendly manner? Are they receiving proper levels of care? Are they being ignored or bullied? Most likely, your loved one is being treated in a similar manner to these other residents when you are not around to observe.
- Look at the level of staffing at the facility – Does it seem like there is enough staff to adequately care for the number of residents? Understaffing is often a common cause of nursing home neglect.
Physical abuse is often the easiest to detect since you can usually see some form of visible evidence of the abuse. While physical abuse is often inflicted by the nursing home staff, it can also be due to the actions of another resident.
Common warning signs that your loved one may be a victim of physical abuse at a nursing home include:
- Unexplained broken bones
- Bruises or cuts on the body
- Signs of excessive restraint, such as rope marks on your loved one’s wrist
- Broken eyeglasses
- Being easily scared or startled
Many of these warning signs can potentially be caused by an accident. If this is the first time you noticed bruising or an injury, there is a good chance that an accident occurred. However, if you notice this is a regular occurrence, it may be a sign that your loved one has been physically abused.
Emotional abuse is often more subtle, making it more difficult to detect than physical abuse. In many instances, emotional abuse occurs over a prolonged period of time, resulting in gradual changes to your loved one’s behavior.
The following signs may indicate that your loved one has been the victim of emotional abuse at a nursing home:
- Social withdrawal
- Increased anxiety
- Loss of self-confidence
- Exhibiting repetitive behaviors such as rocking back and forth or mumbling
- Refusal to take medication
- Changes in behavior or emotional state
- Lack of interest in participating in favorite activities
Sadly, sexual abuse occurs all too often at nursing homes. Often, it can be hard to detect the signs of sexual abuse at first. Be on the lookout for:
- Bruises on or near the genitals and breasts
- Unexplained STDs
- Torn, bloody or stained underwear
- Anal or vaginal bleeding
You should always keep an eye on your loved one’s finances to make sure they aren’t being exploited by nursing home staff. Common signs of financial abuse include:
- Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, 401k or other financial accounts
- Giving control of financial affairs to a nursing home staff member
- Credit cards, checkbooks or other forms of payment have gone missing
- Unexplained charitable donations
- Unexplained subscriptions or purchases
Often, there is no intentional abuse being committed. However, when the nursing home staff fails to provide your loved one with the proper care, it can constitute neglect. Common warning signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Poor personal hygiene
- Bed sores
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chronic dehydration
- Wandering off (this is often a sign of inadequate supervision)
- Wearing soiled clothes
- Failure to report illnesses or injuries to family members and doctors
- Medication isn’t being administered
- Dirty and unkempt living space
Jim Miron Can Help
If you have noticed any of these warning signs of elder abuse or neglect, you should contact Jim at once. He will investigate your case to uncover any abuse which may have occurred. If necessary, Jim will also contact Connecticut Adult Protective Services to facilitate the removal of your loved one from this abusive situation.
In addition to providing the support necessary to get your loved one out of harm, Jim will file a nursing home abuse lawsuit in order to hold the facility and all negligent staff members accountable for their actions.
Contact our Bridgeport Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Please contact Jim Miron, Attorney at Law using the form on this page or call 203-339-5991 today to schedule a complimentary elder abuse consultation. We serve clients in Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford and the surrounding areas of Connecticut.