Identifying Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

longterm careAbout 2 million Americans are living in some kind of nursing facility. When family members decide to admit a loved one into these nursing homes, they expect that their loved one will be taken care of, and that their needs will be met.  Unfortunately, residents at these facilities are very often subjected to abuse and neglect. If your family member currently lives in a nursing home, it is important to visit them frequently, and look for signs that all is not well.

In fact, there are often visible signs of nursing home abuse that should alert you to the possibility that your loved one is not being taken care of as well as you believe, and as well as they deserve.  One should look for bedsores or pressure ulcers as a sign that the loved one is not being very mobile.  A loved one may also be able to pick up signs of neglect if the loved one shows signs of a poor appetite, sudden weight loss, poor sanitation, and poor hygiene.

Signs of abuse include unexplained bruises, infantile behaviors, signs of forced restraint or over-medication leading to a “zoned out” appearance.  While the physical well-being of your loved one is of utmost concern, one must also look out for financial well-being of the residents.  This is a time when you must keep a close watch for strange financial transactions or changes in the will.

All of these are possible signs of abuse and neglect that you must take seriously. It’s important to take steps to protect your loved one when you suspect abuse. Call the police. This is best done in those situations in which you actually witness the abuse yourself. However, if you notice bruises on your loved one’s body, call police immediately.  You may also contact Adult Protective Services when you believe your loved one is in danger. Whatever else you do, protect your loved one.  Remove them from the situation as soon as possible.

For more information about what you can do when you suspect nursing home abuse, call the Indiana Attorney General’s Abuse and Neglect Hotline toll-free at 800-382-1239.

The law office of Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP, fights for the rights of those who have suffered abuse while in long-term care.  If you or a loved one find that you are in a dangerous situation, contact authorities at once.  You should also contact the nursing home attorneys who may be able to help you with your possible case.  Call today.