Nursing homes are supposed to be safe, engaging communities for elderly people to enjoy a high quality of life. Because many of the residents in a long term care facility require healthcare and help with everyday tasks, they can be taken advantage of or mistreated. No one deserves to live in a place that doesn’t provide the best care and environment. Filing a claim against the facility is an emotional and difficult thing to do, but you can get help from the Little Rock nursing home abuse lawyers from McMath Woods P.A.
McMath Woods P.A. is dedicated to helping victims of elder abuse and their families. We will make sure your loved one’s rights are defended and they get the justice they deserve.
What Are the Kinds of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home neglect and abuse can happen in several ways. While there are types of abuse that occur because of malicious intent, abuse can also occur because the nursing home isn’t able to provide the care that your loved one needs.
Common types of elderly abuse are:
- Physical. Pushing, shoving, or holding a resident with too much force that can leave bruises are all forms of physical abuse.
- Psychological. Yelling, criticizing, insulting, and keeping a resident away from others at the nursing homes are forms of mental abuse. This alienates them and they may be scared to tell someone about the abuse.
- Financial. People can take advantage of a senior’s issues with memory and trick them into giving away their money.
- Sexual. Any form of sexual contact without consent is considered sexual abuse. For residents who have issues with communicating, it may be difficult for them to tell another about the abuse that is happening.
- Neglect. Many issues with nursing homes is not having the staff to give their residents the care they need. Residents may need medication or help with walking. Failing to have the staff to administer medication or check on their residents puts residents at risk. A fall risk resident may try to get up and go to the bathroom on their own and fall.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
It’s difficult to mask the signs of nursing home abuse because this negative treatment can leave various kinds of evidence that you can pick up on. If you suspect your loved one is being abused in their nursing home, you can look for the following signs of elder abuse.
- Unexplained Injuries. This can range from broken bones and fractures to cuts and bruises. While an occasional bump is common, your loved one should not have consistent injuries.
- Bed Sores. Seniors need exercise to stay healthy and they need to get out of their room to maintain a high quality of life. Bed sores may be evidence that your loved one is being left too long and too often in their bed.
- Sudden Change in Mood. If your loved one was usually energetic and upbeat but now they’re lethargic or seem scared, this could be because someone is abusing them.
- Inability to Communicate. While those in nursing homes may have difficulty with speech, if you notice a change in your loved one’s ability to communicate that seems out of character, it could be because they’re being overmedicated. Nursing homes may overmedicate residents because it’s easier to control them in this state. This is unacceptable and a form of abuse.
- Poor Personal Hygiene. Seniors in nursing homes may require help with personal hygiene tasks. This includes brushing teeth, showering, and changing clothes. Noticing that your loved one doesn’t have fresh clothes, sheets, or is dirty could be evidence of neglect.
- Dehydration/Poor Nutrition. Hydration and nutritious food is essential for seniors. Lack of water and healthy food makes them for susceptible to getting illnesses or physically weakens them. A neglectful nursing home won’t make sure your loved one is hydrated or getting the nutrition they need.
- Unsanitary Environment. The nursing home should be clean and fresh to help stop germs from spreading and it’s supposed to be your loved one’s home and should be taken care of. Accidents may happen, but nursing home staff should clean up a mess in a reasonable amount of time. If the nursing home is dirty, it may not be the best environment for your loved one.
When you visit your loved one, you may want to consider speaking to other families or residents about their experience with the nursing home. You could also try going outside of typical visiting hours. If any caregiver attempts to stop you from seeing your loved one, this is a red flag.
You’ve Discovered Signs of Elder Abuse – Now What?
When you realize that your loved one is not living in a safe environment, you may not know what to do. Your first steps should be attending to your loved one. You can get them medical care to make sure they aren’t hurt any further and have someone monitoring their health. You can report the abuse to Arkansas Adult Protective Services and work on getting your loved one out of that environment.
Then, you can gather evidence and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. They can help you get the evidence you need to show that your loved one was abused. This can be from medical records, the state of the nursing home, and eyewitness accounts from people at the nursing home.
How Can a Little Rock Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Help You?
Knowing that your loved one had to deal with abuse in their long term care facility is horrifying. You deserve to have peace of mind that someone is on your side and looking out for your loved one’s best interests. The Arkansas nursing home neglect attorneys from McMath Woods P.A. will do everything to get your loved one compensation. Call today for a free consultation about your case.