Although it may be hard to comprehend, elder abuse does occur at some nursing home facilities, and it often goes undetected, according to a report from the Associated Press.
An audit from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed mandatory reporting does not occur as often as it should on the part of the nursing home administration. Some staff may choose to ignore it.
If you suspect abuse is occurring to your loved one, but the nursing home’s administration is not taking your concerns seriously, a Cicero unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns lawyer can help you. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we know how to protect the rights of vulnerable senior citizens at a nursing home. Call us today.
Spotting Signs of Elder Abuse
If you are unsure whether you are actually seeing signs of elder abuse from your loved one at a nursing home, your uncertainty is understandable.
However, some easy-to-see, common physical signs may indicate an abusive situation. These signs may include:
- Unexplained bruising: where your loved one has bruises on parts of the body where bruising does not commonly occur or that your loved one does not want to discuss.
- Unexplained cuts: where your loved one may have cuts on the skin in an odd location or a bloodied lip or nose that could be a sign of abuse.
- Unexplained falls: where your loved one suddenly begins falling at the nursing home, even though they never previously fell.
- Burns on the skin: where your loved one has burns from hot food, a hot appliance, or a cigarette that does not make sense.
- Broken personal items: where you notice a breakage or tearing of your loved one’s clothing, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dentures, and no one at the nursing home seems to have an explanation for the issue.
- Emotional signs: where your loved one may attempt to avoid seeing a certain staff member or resident, showing fear, which could be a sign that abuse is occurring.
Covering Up Signs of Abuse
In addition to physical signs of abuse on the body of the victim, you may notice unexplained attempts to cover up injuries. Cover-ups may also indicate that abuse is occurring.
An abuser at the nursing home may attempt to bandage a cut to hide the severity of the abuse from individuals visiting the victim. If the abuser is not a medical professional, the bandaging may appear improperly strewn. If this scenario is true, it may indicate an abusive situation.
Other times, you may notice that your loved one is wearing extra makeup in an attempt to cover up bruising, abrasions, or burns on the skin. You may also notice that your loved one is wearing an unexpected shoulder sling or knee wrap when you visit, but their doctor does not know why.
Reporting Suspected Abuse
If you see abuse occurring at a nursing home, call law enforcement immediately and let them investigate the situation: you also can call law enforcement if you suspect abuse.
Additionally, you should report your suspicions to the administration of the nursing home. You should contact the Illinois Department of Public Health which regulates nursing homes along with public, private, and federal agencies in the Cicero area. The department ensures that they follow all state regulations.
If you would like help filing a complaint about abuse at your loved one’s nursing home, a Cicero unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns lawyer can help. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm knows how to make the administration at the nursing home give your concerns the attention they deserve. Contact us as soon as possible for a free review of your individual case so you may understand your options.
Who Commits Abuse at a Nursing Home
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, statistics and data show that many different people could be committing abuse against a vulnerable elderly person in a nursing home. This abuse can range from hitting the victim to employing emotional abuse techniques to engaging in sexual abuse. Some potential perpetrators include:
- Other family members: who may be abusing the victim at home, and they continue the abuse in the nursing home.
- Staff members: where employees of the nursing home may lash out at residents because of frustration, a lack of training, or a lack of sufficient staffing.
- Other residents: who may have dementia or other illnesses that cause them to behave in an abusive manner toward their peers at the nursing home.
- Visitors: where anyone ranging from friends of the victim to random visitors to the facility could perpetrate abusive acts toward the resident.
Regardless of who is committing the abuse, the administration and staff at the nursing home have a responsibility to put a stop to it. Staff members also should be trained in how to spot signs of abuse and how to recognize when a person could be committing abuse.
If staff does not receive the proper training, this is a sign of negligent behavior on the part of the nursing home’s administration and owner. Proper training or nursing home staff reduces abuse.
For a free legal consultation with a Unexplained Bruises or Cuts or Burns Lawyer serving Cicero, call (800) 794-0444
A Cicero Unexplained Bruises, Cuts, or Burns Lawyer Will Stand By Your Side
If you experience an abusive situation at a nursing home, it is important to always keep in mind that your loved one did nothing wrong. Elder abuse should never occur, especially in a facility tasked with properly caring for senior citizens.
The team of attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm does not shy away from tough cases. We appreciate the opportunity to defend the rights of victims of nursing home abuse, helping them attempt to receive the awards they deserve for medical bills and pain and suffering.
As a Cicero unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns lawyer, we understand how insurance companies try to treat victims of abuse in a nursing home. Our legal team knows how to counteract these techniques. Call us today. We are ready to begin working on your behalf.