Ideally, your older loved one wants to stay in their own home or stay with a family member to be cared for while they age. If they can no longer take care of themselves, or members of the family are no longer able to provide them with the time and energy they need to stay in good health, then you might decide to move your loved one into a nursing home.
Even though you decide to move your elderly family member to a long-term care facility because you expect them to provide them with expert care, that’s not always the case. No matter how much research you do to ensure it’s a great facility, your loved one could still experience abuse or neglect while in their nursing home. That’s where our Bentonville nursing home abuse lawyer comes in.
At McMath Woods P.A., we understand how vulnerable your loved one feels after experiencing abuse at the facility that is supposed to care for them. Our attorneys are here to support you and your family member through this legal process so we can get them the justice that they deserve for everything they’ve been through.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Even though the ideal situation is that your elderly loved one is treated properly at their long-term care facility, that’s not always the case. That’s why it’s important to know about the different types of abuse that can occur in their facility. Abuse comes in many different forms when it comes to elderly residents in nursing homes.
Abuse is actively done by staff members or fellow residents of these facilities. Even though other forms of abuse, like neglect, can happen unintentionally, all of these types of abuse are intentionally done by the staff or other residents that the staff don’t stop from happening. Here are the different types of abuse that can happen in a nursing home:
- Physical. Physical abuse is just what it sounds like—this is when a staff member or another resident uses physical force to harm or injure your loved one. When a person hits, drops, shoves, or pinches a resident, that is abuse. Even if their actions don’t injure the resident, if they caused them physical pain then it would be considered abuse. The use of physical or chemical restraints, force-feeding, or any other use of force is also considered physical abuse.
- Psychological. When a person is verbally or emotionally abusive to a resident, it’s known as psychological abuse. Whether the staff member was yelling at, cursing at, or tormenting a resident, they could suffer psychologically and have pain and distress. Mental and emotional abuse can be just as damaging to a resident as physical abuse because they could isolate themselves and it could cause their health to decline.
- Neglect. While instances of neglect are not always intentional, staff can neglect patients on purpose, which is considered abuse. An elderly person requires their needs to be met so that they can remain healthy. When a staff member neglects them, their hygiene, health status, and mental health can all decline.
- Financial. If an older resident of the nursing home is not fully aware of what’s going on around them, or are mentally incapacitated, they might be easily influenced or coerced into signing their finances over to a staff member. This is known as financial abuse. This can also happen when a worker steals checks, valuables, or money from the resident.
- Sexual. Unfortunately, sexual abuse can happen to nursing home residents. If a staff member or fellow resident engages in sexual acts without the resident’s consent, then that is considered sexual abuse.
- Abandonment. Sometimes a facility decides they can no longer care for a patient, and instead of moving them to another facility, they drive them to a different location and leave them there. Or they release the resident with nowhere to go and without contacting any of their family members.
All of these forms of abuse are equally terrible and threaten the overall health of the resident in question. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of abuse. That way, you can spot the abuse and hire a Bentonville nursing home abuse attorney so that you have someone on your side to support you and get your loved one justice.
Spotting Signs of Abuse in Your Loved One
As mentioned above, there are many different types of abuse that can happen in nursing homes. If you don’t know what to look for, you might miss the signs that your family member is being abused in their facility and it could go on for even longer. Many of the signs of abuse are similar, which means it could be hard for you to identify which specific form of abuse is happening.
What’s important is spotting the abuse in general so that it can be reported, and your loved one can get to safety. Here are some of the most common signs that your family member is being abused in their long-term care facility:
- Unexplained bruises or cuts
- Broken bones, especially hips
- Bed sores
- Poor hygiene
- Soiled clothes and bedding
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Mood changes
- Becoming withdrawn
- Missing items
- Unexplained financial transactions
If the staff of their facility won’t allow you to visit your loved one privately, then that could also be a red flag. Your loved one should be able to make their own decisions, communicate, and visit with whoever they want without any intervention from the staff. If they seem to be hovering or controlling the conversation, then your loved one could be experiencing abuse.
A Bentonville nursing home abuse lawyer can help you get your loved one out of that situation so that they can get better treatment and recover the compensation they deserve.
Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Is Here for You
Your loved one deserves the best care possible. If they’re receiving the opposite and being abused, then they deserve to have their rights protected. Our Bentonville nursing home abuse lawyer is here to defend your family member and get them justice for what’s happened to them.
At McMath Woods P.A., we are prepared to go to trial for your loved one. Contact our office today so that we can discuss your legal options.