Symptoms of brain damage, according to Mayo Clinic, are recognizable traits involving cognition or perception that have been altered due to a head injury. Symptoms may include a combination of some or several of these cognitive or perceptual traits:
- Impaired ability to process information
- Difficulty in concentrating or understanding concepts
- Difficulty with clear thinking
- Unfocused attention
- Inability to share thoughts
- Loss of memory
- Sensitivity to smell, light, and sound
- Blurry vision
- Mood swings
- Slurring words
These symptoms of brain damage arise as a result of traumatic brain injuries that occur from sudden blows or strikes of force to the head. These head injuries can be accidental, caused by someone else’s negligence, or a form of abuse.
When a person suffers blows to the head, the result can be mild to serious brain injuries, including cranial bleeding, bruising, ruptured tissues, or other brain damage. Any of these injuries can result in life-altering complications or even death.
Head Injuries in Nursing Homes
Brain damage can happen to senior residents of nursing homes. Elderly residents can receive injuries and abuse resulting in head injuries, concussions, or brain injuries in nursing homes. It’s difficult to understand how these injuries can occur.
Sometimes, head injuries are caused by an aging senior falling down onto their head. In other cases, the nursing home resident might be the unwitting victim of elder abuse by a nursing home employee or contractor.
This goes against common sense. Nursing homes should be places of safety and security for our loved ones. They should be cared for, not abused. Adults usually place their aging loved ones into a nursing home to be cared for. If a nursing home resident is being subjected to elder abuse, then it’s an opportunity to take legal action for negligence against the nursing home.
Start with getting your loved one the medical help they need. Then, you might benefit from consulting with a lawyer to see if you have a case for compensation.
Causes of Brain Damage
Most commonly, falls are the main culprit of brain damage. The ways that seniors fall can vary. Dizzy spells, fainting, and missteps all contribute to falls. Senior nursing home residents may fall and suffer a head injury while:
- Attempting to walk into the shower or bathing area
- Transferring from their bed to a wheelchair
- Walking in the nursing home
- Reaching for items in their room
- Slipping on a wet surface in the nursing home
Negligence could contribute to any one of these instances of a senior falling.
Another case might involve a senior rolling off a bed in the middle of the night. If the nursing home does not use guardrails to protect their older residents, then the home could be found liable for the injuries suffered by the resident.
There are even more frightening cases of elder abuse in nursing homes, where seniors are taken advantage of and are harmed physically, which could potentially cause brain injuries.
Conditions for Elder Abuse
When aging senior citizens are placed in nursing homes, they are often alone, vulnerable, weak, and in need of constant supervision. These conditions alone make for a recipe for elder abuse.
Various types of neglect can take place when senior nursing home residents are dependent upon the staff, according to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. Anxious seniors could become irritable and anxious during a daily pattern of needing someone to help with trips to the toilet, daily feeding, and more.
The staff may need to frequently turn a resident’s body several times a day if the resident is unable to turn on their own. All of this can foster resentment in an overworked staff.
It may be that the number of residents in a nursing home is too high for the small team of staff members to handle adequately. In a nursing home, anger can arise from this situation. This anger and frustration may lead to physical abuse of the residents.
Working With a Nursing Home Lawyer
When you notice symptoms of brain damage in your aging parent or other loved one, it is possible that there are issues around the management of the nursing home that should be looked into.
If you have been in the nursing home enough to see identifiable patterns of neglect, abuse, maltreatment, and more, then it’s time to call into questions these symptoms of brain damage you see in your loved one.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336. We will work with you to listen to your story, do our due diligence, and assess whether there is a case for negligence to be made on behalf of your loved one.