In an effort to raise awareness of neglect in nursing homes, June 15 is designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It is estimated that one out of every 10 seniors will be victims of abuse or neglect, and sadly, most of those cases will never be reported. Our seniors may be too embarrassed or afraid to speak out, making it critically important for families and loved ones to be especially vigilant.
If you suspect that your senior loved one might be a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should seek help as soon as possible. The experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Paul Padda Law can set a plan in place to hold your senior’s nursing home accountable so that they can get the care they deserve. Call us today at (702) 366-1888, or reach out online to schedule a free case consultation.
Signs of Abuse in a Nursing Home
If you’re concerned that your loved one might be suffering in their elder care facility, look out for the following:
Sudden and Unexplained Weight Loss
Sudden or unexplained weight loss signals that your senior is not getting the nutrition they need. Rapid weight loss in older people can complicate existing health problems and give rise to new health problems. Their caregiver may be denying them food as a punishment, or it may simply be the result of mismanagement; the facility may be running out of food or otherwise failing to meet their residents’ dietary needs. On the other hand, weight loss can also be a sign of depression or other problems that could also be caused by nursing home abuse or neglect.
Dirty Living Quarters
When you visit your senior, it’s fine to spend time with them in the dining room or some other common area, but be sure to make a trip to their room. Once you are there, make a note of whether it appears to be cleaned regularly and is kept in a sanitary condition. Take note of the following:
- Are there signs of rodent or insect infestations?
- Has the room been dusted since your last visit?
- Is the floor swept or vacuumed?
- Is the trash can overflowing?
- Is the bathroom clean and well-maintained?
- Are there water leaks, or is mold or mildew growing anywhere?
While a dirty room may not necessarily mean your senior is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it does suggest that the facility does not have adequate supervision or management. This creates an environment that allows for abuse and neglect to easily take place and go unnoticed.
Your Senior is Dirty or Unkempt
Similar to their room, make careful note of whether your senior is bathed, that their hair is brushed, and they are otherwise taken care of in terms of hygiene. Poor hygiene can be a sign that your senior is not receiving adequate care, and signal that there are larger issues that you can’t see. Questions to ask yourself include:
- Are they wearing clean clothes?
- Have they bathed recently?
- Is their hair dirty or unwashed?
- Do they have an unpleasant odor?
- Do they have untreated sores or wounds?
Again, these may signify the facility is intentionally withholding care, or simply that they are negligent in providing care to the residents and ensuring that they are getting what they need.
Unexplained Bruises, Cuts, Abrasions or Other Signs of Physical Trauma
Bruises, cuts, abrasions, and other signs of physical trauma are obvious signs of nursing home abuse. It is a sad reality that some people turn their aggressions and frustrations on those who are most vulnerable. Ask your senior how their injury occurred. If they are reluctant to talk about it or provide an answer that doesn’t make sense, it could be a sign that their injuries were intentionally inflicted.
Physical injuries can also be a sign of neglect, suggesting that your senior is not adequately supervised or isn’t getting the assistance they need.
Your Senior is Fearful or Displays Tension Towards Staff
If your senior seems to be afraid of nursing home staff, or displays anger or hostility towards them, it may be because they are a victim of neglect or abuse. Be observant of how your senior behaves around the staff, especially towards those that are responsible for their day-to-day care.
Contact a Las Vegas Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Abusers go to great lengths to cover up their actions, making it hard to know whether your senior is being abused or neglected. The best thing you can do is to trust your instincts and seek professional help. At Paul Padda Law, our attorneys will work with you to thoroughly investigate the situation, then inform you of your options. To schedule a free consultation of your case, contact us today at (702) 366-1888.