Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
As the aging population increases, so does the number of people residing in nursing homes. Unfortunately, this rise in nursing home residents also correlates with a surge in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Studies suggest that 10 percent of nursing home residents suffer from some form of abuse each year, with many incidents going unreported.
Warning signs of nursing home abuse
Nursing home residents may endure various forms of abuse and injury, including physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse, neglect, abandonment and healthcare fraud. Recognizing the warning signs can be crucial in identifying potential abuse or injury, though they may not always be straightforward.
Watch for the following red flags:
- Unexplained injuries, such as fractured or broken bones, sprained joints, bruises or burns.
- Diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease without explanation.
- Abrupt changes in behavior, withdrawal from social activities or isolation imposed by the caregiver.
- Verbally aggressive, uncaring or demeaning caregivers.
- Trauma (bruising or swelling) around the genitals.
- Evidence that t medication is not properly administered.
- Deteriorating personal hygiene.
- Lack of food or an unexpectedly dirty living space.
- Soiled clothing or bedding.
- Presence of bedsores or ulcers.
- Living space lacking basic necessities like heat, water or electricity.
- Unpaid monthly bills or inability to manage financial responsibilities.
- Excessive and unexpected gifts, especially to non-family members.
- Handing over control of financial affairs to a caregiver.
- Inability to explain personal financial transactions.
- Unexpected or seemingly unnecessary medical treatment or equipment.
- Excessive diagnostic testing without reasonable explanation.
- Inability of caregivers to explain the need for specific equipment or treatment.
- Billing for health care services that were never provided.
If you suspect nursing home abuse, it’s crucial to act promptly. Consider contacting 911 or your local law enforcement authority as a first step. Then reach out to the compassionate nursing home abuse attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP for guidance.