Discovering that your vulnerable elderly relative is subjected to abuse in their nursing home can feel devastating and heartbreaking. Knowing the different types of nursing home abuse and how to spot the signs of abuse is crucial for discovering the neglect or abuse and getting help for our elderly loved ones quickly.
It is important to note that when it comes to nursing home abuse, the law is generally on your side. State and federal laws, including the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, 42 U.S. Code § 1395i–3, provide protection for vulnerable nursing home residents. Therefore, if your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you have the right to pursue legal action and hold the nursing home responsible for injuries and losses. Call and speak with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law today and find out how you could get justice: (651) 259-1113.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Unfortunately, elder abuse in nursing homes is not a rarity in the United States. In fact, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), up to 2.5 million vulnerable residents in long-term care settings could be at risk from nursing home abuse.
Many elderly residents rely on the vigilance of their relatives when it comes to detecting abuse and neglect. In some cases, nursing home residents may not be able to tell their loved ones about what has happened due to neurocognitive challenges that occur with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, it is crucial that those who have loved ones in nursing homes know about the various types of nursing home abuse which can include the following types listed below.
Physical abuse is any form of body contact that causes an injury or trauma to a nursing home resident. Examples of physical abuse can include hitting a senior resident, pushing them, slapping them, or any other violent and aggressive acts. Physical abuse is perhaps the most easily detected type of abuse as it typically comes with bruises and injuries. Signs of physical abuse can include various unexplained injuries such as:
- Sprains and dislocations
- Cuts and scrapes
- Signs of restraint
The effect that prolonged emotional abuse can have on a nursing home resident should not be underestimated. While verbal or emotional abuse does not necessarily cause bodily injuries, it can prove devastating to a senior’s mental health and contribute to their overall decline. Emotional abuse can include ignoring a senior, yelling at them, or humiliating them in front of others. While verbal and emotional abuse can be challenging to discover, seniors may show a change in character such as becoming more fearful or anxious and withdrawing from social activities.
Sexual abuse of the elderly is one of the most egregious and shocking types of mistreatment and can include forced sexual acts and other behaviors such as:
- Unwanted nudity and touching
- Taking sexual photographs or videos
- Forcing a senior to watch sexual material
Signs of sexual abuse can include sexually transmitted diseases, bruising and bleeding in the genital area, or an overall change in behavior of your elderly loved one.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is a type of abuse that can have devastating consequences for a senior in residential care and could even endanger their life. If a nursing home does not employ enough caregivers, residents may not get the help they need with daily tasks such as eating, drinking, and bathing. Malnutrition, dehydration, and lack of personal hygiene can lead to a rapid deterioration of an elderly nursing home resident. Signs of nursing home neglect of a resident can include sudden rapid weight loss, hair loss, bedsores, dehydration, or appearing unwashed and disheveled.
Steps To Take After Discovering Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is illegal, immoral, and can be extremely dangerous to a fragile elderly individual.
Contact Law Enforcement and Governmental Agencies
If you suspect nursing home abuse and your loved one is in immediate danger, you can dial 911 for help and report your findings to the police. You can also report elder abuse to the local adult protective agency in your state and file an official nursing home abuse report. Depending on where you reside, you can contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to report elder abuse.
Consider Contacting a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one suffered injuries (physical or emotional) or financial damages due to abuse in their nursing home, consider contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer to receive answers to your legal questions. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law can help protect your legal rights and advise you on potential options for recovering compensation from a negligent nursing home.
Nursing Home Legal Liability
Nursing homes are legally responsible to keep their residents safe and free from harm, neglect, and abuse. If your loved one suffered from any type of nursing home abuse, you potentially have the option of holding the facility responsible. You could recover damages such as:
- Medical costs (for both physical and emotional injuries)
- Transportation expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
There are a number of ways in which a nursing home could be negligent, including but not limited to:
- Employing too few caregivers
- Negligently hiring staff without checking their background or qualifications
- Inadequate staff training
- Lacking adequate safety and security protocols
Tyroler Leonard Injury Law Can Help Your Family During This Difficult Time
There can be several types of nursing home abuse and some can be difficult to detect. However, if you think something is wrong and there are some red flags surrounding your loved one’s care in a nursing home, trust your instinct and demand answers from the nursing home.
Standing up to a nursing home and its legal counsel can be daunting and overwhelming. Holding a facility to account requires proving negligence with conclusive evidence which can be a legally complex endeavor. We understand how powerless and frustrated relatives of injured nursing home residents can feel.
However, you do not have to struggle with this on your own. The experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Tyroler Law Firm can be here for you during this difficult and upsetting time. We can help to analyze your claim and gather the relevant evidence such as a nursing home’s records and witness statements. We are committed to fighting for the rights of our seniors and could help you recover compensation for your damages.
Call Tyroler Leonard Injury Law now for a free case evaluation at (651) 259-1113.