What Can I Do If I See Bruises on My Family Member in a Nursing Home?

What Can I Do If I See Bruises on My Family Member in a Nursing Home?

Family members who go to visit their loved one in a nursing facility may become concerned and outraged overseeing bruises on their hands, legs, or elsewhere. In a moment of shock, they may be unsure of what to do next. Nursing home abuse occurs more often than most people want to imagine. While most people know that incidents of abuse can transpire in real life, they certainly don’t ever envision it actually happening to their loved one while in a nursing home.

Concerned family members are encouraged to visit a nursing home abuse lawyer in Trenton, NJ who is experienced in handling nursing home abuse cases for more information.

What is considered nursing home abuse?
Sometimes, the only choice a family has is to place their elderly loved one into a nursing home facility. The senior relative may suffer from conditions that necessitate 24/7 care. Unfortunately, residents of a nursing home may endure mistreatment, neglect, or abuse due to calloused, overworked, or burnt-out staff. The abuse can lead to serious problems like newly developed conditions, mental health issues, or even death. Nursing home abuse can include:

    Physical harm
    Financial exploitation
    Neglect of care
    Sexual abuse
    Emotional abuse
    Verbal assaults

What is the occurrence of nursing home abuse?
Abuse in nursing homes in a major issue in the United States. Research has estimated that around 1 in every 4 residents in a nursing home has been physically abused by the care staff at least one time. Unfortunately, the number may be higher than that as many patients are too afraid to come forward to report what is happening. Family members may not realize that abuse is occurring until the situation has escalated to a severe level.

What is the leading cause of nursing home abuse?
Not every nursing home facility is able to offer an equal standard of care. A leading cause of nursing home abuse is when staff is spread thin with having too many patients to help with not enough support. Being burnt-out can eventually lead to feelings of frustration, anger, and resentment. Senior residents can suffer immensely if the culture of the staff is neglectful, hostile, uncaring, or untrained. Other factors that can contribute to nursing home abuse include:

  • Lack of proper staff training
  • Staff members who lack a moral compass
  • Lack of supervision from management
  • Staff shortages

What are the signs I should look out for when visiting my senior loved one?
The more relatives frequent the nursing home facility to visit their loved one, the less likely the resident is to suffer from abuse. Residents that don’t have family come around often may be more vulnerable to being mistreated, since the risk of being caught is small. Here are common signs of abuse to watch out in your loved one when visiting the facility:

  • Broken bones
  • Infected bedsores
  • Bruising
  • Malnourishment
  • Dehydration
  • Poor hygiene
  • Wet, dirty, or soiled bedding
  • Resident emotionally withdrawing
  • Refusing medication
  • Behavior outbursts

Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and nursing home abuse involving bruises.

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