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Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

When your loved one enters a nursing home, you expect that the facility will provide the respectful care he or she deserves. However, it is important to monitor your loved one’s condition and treatment to protect them from mistreatment.

Nursing homes suffer from perpetual staffing shortages. Even the best care facilities sometimes hire staff who lack the proper training or temperament to provide skilled and compassionate care to elderly people. Sadly, some workers intentionally neglect, torment, or even physically abuse the people they are supposed to be caring for.

It is important to recognize the warning signs of nursing home abuse so that you are better equipped to intervene before your loved one suffers permanent effects from mistreatment. If a nursing home resident shows signs of neglect or abuse, a dedicated attorney at Tittle & Perlmuter can help you protect him or her and seek damages from the facility.

Indicators of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home patients are often unable to advocate for themselves. They might have physical conditions that impair their awareness or ability to express their feelings or share their experiences. If the patient suffers from cognitive difficulties or dementia, they might not be believed if they report neglect or abuse. Family members must be diligent about observing and questioning anything that raises concern.

Nursing homes sometimes cut corners due to staff shortages. For instance, workers might be late responding to a patient’s needs. The following are signs that a patient is suffering from nursing home neglect:

warning signs of nursing home abuse

Anyone who notices signs of neglect should speak to the nursing home Administrator. If the conditions do not improve, a complaint to the Ohio Department of Health might be appropriate.

Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

By contrast, an independent contractor has more freedom. Independent contractors work when they wish and are responsible for obtaining their tools, but may still need to adhere to deadlines or quality control standards.

Physical Abuse

The signs of physical abuse are often obvious. If a resident suffers a cut, deep bruise, or fracture, it is essential to question how it occurred and critically consider the response. Although falling is a common risk for older people, families should not just accept that explanation, especially if there are other indicators of abuse. Families should not hesitate to involve the police or legal counsel if they believe their loved one is being physically abused.

Emotional Abuse

Nursing home patients could suffer bullying, teasing, humiliation, or disrespect from staff and other residents. Such behavior is unacceptable and violates the patient’s rights under Ohio Revised Code 3721.13. Patients suffering from emotional abuse might suddenly become withdrawn, fearful, or agitated. They might gain or lose weight without apparent cause. Families should discuss any such changes with the Administrator, the patient’s physician, and the patient, if possible.

Sexual Abuse

Many forms of sexual abuse, including sexual harassment, unwanted genital contact, and even rape, occur in nursing homes. Patients who can communicate what happened to them are often unwilling to do so, and many nursing home patients are incapable of speaking due to their health conditions. Family members must be observant and question any indication of sexual abuse. Signs to look for include bloody underwear or bed linens, blood in urine or feces, wounds or bruising on breasts, genitals, or buttocks, or a new diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease. Families should involve the police if a loved one was sexually abused in a nursing home.

Seek Justice for Nursing Home Abuse with an Attorney

Families who suspect their elderly loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse might not know where to turn. Talking with the Administrator could stop ongoing mistreatment but does not undo the damage already done.

If you see the warning signs of nursing home abuse, speak with a local attorney immediately. At Tittle & Perlmuter, we can advise whether police involvement is warranted and help your family get justice for your loved one. Call us today for a free consultation and legal guidance.