5 Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Few families ever prepare to contact a top nursing home lawyer Montgomery County MD provides when they first move a loved one into a nursing home. Nevertheless, abuse and neglect targeted at older adults is commonplace, and thus is something that every family should be aware of.
Even the most careful nursing home facility could potentially be found abusive or neglectful in a court of law. Ask any seasoned nursing home lawyer Montgomery County MD trusts, and you might find that even the most careful families can miss some of the more common signs of nursing home abuse.
1. Broken bones, lacerations, bruises, or other physical injuries.
It can be difficult for family members to recognize these injuries as signs of abuse, often because older adults are naturally more prone to injuries. Many respectable nursing homes will account for this by alerting a family member each time their relative is injured in an accident, or by documenting the incident and keeping the details on record.
Sudden and unexplained injuries are one of the more common reasons why families reach out to an experienced nursing home lawyer Montgomery County MD has to offer. A skilled lawyer may be able to help a family collect evidence of the abuse and build a case to help prove that their relative’s injuries are not merely the result of accidents.
2. Bedsores, infections, or a consistent lack of hygiene.
These may be indications of nursing home neglect. Even though nursing home staff members might not be intentionally targeting a resident through abusive behaviors, neglecting a resident can be equally traumatic — and might justify a lawsuit. If you begin to notice things that may be potential signs of neglect, it might be wise to contact a nursing home lawyer Montgomery County MD residents would recommend.
Bedsores are a particular type of injury that affect individuals with limited mobility. Many older adults are immobile due to an injury or an illness, or simply because their bodies have aged. Bedsores might begin to appear when a person is immobile for a long period of time because pressure can begin to build up in certain spots of the body. Simply helping residents to reposition their bodies throughout the day can reduce pressure and prevent bedsores.
When a bedsore develops and is not treated, or when a resident is injured and has an open wound that is not cleaned, infections can begin to develop. Despite the commonality of infections (and the number of antibiotics that could treat an infection), older adults with weaker immune systems may have a much harder time fighting off infection. Infections can easily lead to permanent injuries that may be fatal.
3. Sudden changes in bank account statements or investment accounts.
This may be a sign of financial exploitation, and it can be very detrimental when an older adult is targeted in such a way. An older individual might be targeted by someone who appears to be looking out for their financial well being, but is instead taking advantage of the individual.
Some cases of financial exploitation involve another party directly stealing money from a bank account, but in other cases, the exploited individual might be giving this party permission to take money. This may be more likely to occur if an older adult suffers from memory loss or severe confusion, as it is likely easier for someone else to persuade this person into transferring money or providing a personal bank account number. Luckily, financial scams can often be traced when there is a paper trail, especially with the counsel of a trained nursing home lawyer Montgomery County MD respects.
4. Withdrawal from social activities.
Helping residents stay socially active is an important aspect of a successful nursing home. If a resident begins to withdraw from activities seemingly without reason, family members may want to look into the possibility of abuse or neglect.
Social withdrawal is particularly prevalent if an individual is being targeted with emotional, psychological, or physical abuse. Isolation might even be a form of abuse itself if a staff member (or even another resident) uses this as a way of punishing a resident.
Psychological and emotional abuse may not be as visible as physical abuse, but long-term exposure to an abusive caregiver might leave a resident feeling hopeless and depressed, and the victim’s physical health may also begin to suffer.
5. Sudden changes in temperament, personality, or normal behaviors.
Victims of psychological abuse may react by withdrawing and becoming more timid, but this is not necessarily the only sign. Others might react by becoming more aggressive, or even violent, to those around them. Some individuals begin to display neurotic behaviors, such as extreme anxiety or suspicion, while others may begin developing child-like behaviors.
It is important to note that many of these behaviors are not a clear sign of abuse. As a nursing home lawyer Montgomery County MD trusts might attest, many older adults begin to develop different personality traits or habits that they never displayed when they were younger. Individuals with cognitive diseases, such as dementia, are more likely to develop sudden behavioral changes as well. Determining which behaviors are natural progressions and which behaviors are the result of abuse is something that your Montgomery County MD nursing home lawyer would likely want to focus on.
Speak With a Nursing Home Lawyer Montgomery County MD Can Rely On
Nursing home abuse cases are often very difficult for families to manage. It’s hard to acknowledge that you’ve placed a loved one in the care of other individuals who are not nearly as compassionate or careful as they should be. An older relative might undergo months, or even years, of abusive incidents before family members begin to see what is going on.
If you believe that your elderly relative is the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, the attorneys at Cohen and Cohen, P.C. may be able to help. We understand that this type of personal injury case can be very complex and that families may need both legal knowledge and professional compassion from a skilled nursing home lawyer in Montgomery County MD.
Our firm is ready to sit down with prospective clients and discuss the details of their situation in a free, no obligation case evaluation. For more information about Cohen and Cohen, P.C., or to schedule a meeting with a nursing home lawyer Montgomery County MD families deserve, contact us today.