1. What are the causes of nursing home neglect and abuse?

Many instances of nursing home neglect and abuse have been attributed to under qualified and inexperienced staff. Greedy nursing home corporations save money by providing less staff and giving less training. Staff that is unable to handle different nursing home situations may take out their frustrations on nursing home residents. Allowing instances of nursing home neglect and abuse to continue going unreported only allows the abuse to continue.

2. What are the different types of nursing home neglect and abuse?

There are different forms of nursing home neglect and abuse that can affect nursing home residents. Mental abuse, physical abuse, nursing home neglect, and exploitation/financial abuse can occur and is often characterized by certain signs.

Mental Abuse– fear, agitation, hesitancy, depression, withdrawal, sudden behavior changes, unusual behavior patterns, unwillingness to communicate, disorientation, confusion, unjustified isolation, rude, humiliating, derogatory comments by staff, specific complaints by resident.

Physical Abuse– wounds, cuts, abrasions, burns, bruises, welts, swelling, broken bones, sudden, inexplicable weight loss, unexplained/hidden injuries, unwarranted restraints (either physical or chemical), specific complaints by residents.

Neglect– bed sores (decubitus ulcers), unsanitary environment, malnutrition, dehydration, smells of urine and/or feces, unkempt appearance, poor personal hygiene, untreated medical condition, specific complaints by residents.

Exploitation/Financial Abuse– sudden, unjustified selling of property, missing/stolen money or property, radical changes in handling personal/financial affairs, specific complaints by residents.

The nursing home and its administrator should be licensed by the State to operate.

Do the nursing home’s procedures to screen potential employees for a history of abuse meet your State’s requirements? Your State’s Ombudsman program might be able to help you with this information.

Some nursing homes have special service units like rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s, and hospice. Learn if there are separate waiting periods or facility guidelines for when residents would be moved on or off the special unit.

Do the nursing home’s training programs educate employees about how to recognize resident abuse and neglect, how to deal with aggressive or difficult residents, and how to deal with the stress of caring for so many needs?

Are there clear procedures to identify events or trends that might lead to abuse and neglect, and on how to investigate, report, and resolve your complaints?

3. What are some signs that indicate nursing home neglect or abuse could be occurring?

Any of the following signs could warrant further investigation:

Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures in various stages of healing

Bedsores or frozen joints

Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections; vaginal or anal bleeding; torn, stained, or bloody underclothing

Sudden changes in behavior

Staff refusing to allow visitors to see resident or delays in allowing visitors to see resident

Staff not allowing resident to be alone with visitor

Resident being kept in an over-medicated state

Loss of resident’s possessions

Sudden large withdrawals from bank accounts or changes in banking practices

Abrupt changes in will or other financial documents

Nursing Home Elder Abuse and Neglect Lawsuits

Have you or someone you love been mistreated or subject to abuse or neglect while living in a Nursing Home? Has a family member suffered from a bed sore or pressure sore, also known as a decubitus ulcer, malnutrition, dehydration, over medication, or any unexplained injury or death? Trust Bagolie Friedman Injury Lawyers to fight for your rights and obtain the justice you deserve. We offer aggressive representation and free consultations.

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