Nursing Home Injuries
As a larger percentage of our population grows older each year, we increasingly depend on elder care. Unfortunately each year, there are over one million reports of elder abuse in nursing homes. According to numerous studies, the most common types of elder abuse fall under the following categories:
- Neglect: occurs when a caregiver is negligent or indifferent to the well-being of the elderly person under their care. If a nursing home does not provide the necessary level of care required for the well-being of their resident, they may be negligent. Often, the neglect is not intentional, but rather a result of under-staffing problems at the nursing home.
- Abuse: of nursing home residents by a staff member or other residents includes physical, mental, and even sexual abuse.
- Physical Abuse includes everything from physical evidence of assault, such as bruises and broken bones, to untreated infections and bedsores.
- Mental Abuse may be more difficult to detect by the loved ones of a resident, but it can be just as damaging as physical abuse. This type of abuse includes isolation, threats, or intentional negligence.
- Sexual Abuse at nursing homes involves sexual harassment or sexual conduct that is forced on a resident without consent, and can also cause severe physical and emotional harm.
Common Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect:
Some common warning signs of abuse or neglect in nursing homes include but are not limited to the following:
- Sudden and severe weight loss, or other signs of malnourishment
- Bedsores: Bedsores are ulcers, caused by pressure placed on parts of the body. They can be caused by a number of factors, including an immobile resident not being turned appropriately. Bed sores vary in severity, and often initially appear as persistent red areas on the skin. If left untreated, these sores can become so deep that they reach the muscle, bone or tendon. The elderly have a higher risk of developing bed sores due to thin skin, malnutrition, and poor circulation. This type of neglect is preventable, but healing becomes more difficult if the sores are left untreated.
- Frequent bruising, cuts or open wounds
- Unexplained fractures or broken bones
- Over-medication, which is characterized by symptoms of lethargy, permanent involuntary muscle movements, seizures, and even sudden death.
Contact Our Experienced Attorneys
When nursing home abuse is suspected, residents and family members often feel angry and frustrated over the violation of trust by a facility that was supposed to care properly for a loved one. With over four decades of experience, the personal injury attorneys at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are extremely knowledgeable about all types of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you suspect a loved one has been neglected or abused in a nursing home, contact our office immediately. We will provide you with a free no-obligation consultation and explain your legal rights.
Visit our website specifically dedicated to nursing home abuse and neglect for additional information on what type of injuries to look for if your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home.
Visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website for information on who to contact to report suspected abuse or neglect of your loved one in a nursing home. The site contains nursing home abuse hotlines for each state.