The best way to protect a loved one from nursing home abuse is to identify the suspected abuse and report it to the appropriate authorities right away. Close monitoring of a loved one’s treatment plan and ongoing care at the nursing home is the best way to identify any issues that may come up. This includes talking to nursing home staff and making sure that your loved one’s needs are being met and that treatment being provided is consistent.
It is also important to make sure that you receive regular updates from nursing home staff about how your loved one is doing. There are certain warning signs you want to be on the lookout for in order to be able to protect your loved one from substandard care or abuse. If you believe that your loved one has suffered injury due to nursing home abuse, it is important to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who may be able to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
How Common is Nursing Home Abuse?
Unfortunately, reports of elder abuse in nursing homes are on the rise. A study published by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee stated that elders are abused in one out of every three nursing homes across the country. The data indicated that 5,283 nursing facilities were cited for approximately 9,000 cases of abuse. Some cases involved reports of abuse by staff members, while others involved reports of staff members failing to protect residents from known dangers. Many of the cases reported involve disturbing instances of harassment, neglect, and demeaning behavior. Early identification of the warning signs of abuse is crucial in preventing nursing home abuse.
How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse
Elderly patients are often dependent on their caregivers for their basic day-to-day needs. Abuse generally occurs when caregivers neglect to provide adequate care, fail to protect an elderly patient from danger or engage in actual physical abuse.
The following are common warning signs of nursing home abuse:
- Changes in personality or behavior
- Unexplained signs of injury/bruises
- Broken or fractured bones
- Unusual weight loss/malnutrition
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Poor hygiene
- Untreated physical conditions
If you notice that your family member or loved one seems to be experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, alert the nursing supervisor at the facility. You should also report the suspected abuse to the appropriate state authorities. It is also a good idea to talk to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who may be able to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit on you or your loved one’s behalf.
Contact an Experienced Rhode Island Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured while receiving care at an assisted living, elder care, or nursing home facility, then you should consider talking to a nursing home abuse lawyer about your legal options. The experienced Rhode Island nursing home lawyers that we work with may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf and charge no fee unless you win an award or settlement. Contact us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878, or submit an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.