The sad fact is that many nursing home residents, assisted living facility residents, and those receiving home care are unable or unwilling to speak about abuses they may have suffered due to their medical condition, shame, or fear of retaliation. It is critical that residents’ families and visitors take an active role in the safety of their loved ones. Following are some questions that can help you identify important warning signs of abuse:
General Health and Well-being of the Resident:
- Does the resident have obvious signs of new physical trauma (open cuts, fractures, welts, burns, bruises)?
- Is the patient’s medical condition deteriorating rapidly?
- How is the resident’s hygiene being maintained, including regular bathing, oral hygiene, and trimmed nails?
- Does the resident demonstrate unexpected or unusual behavior (emotionally upset, agitated, withdrawn, fearful) or make unusual or frequent complaints?
- Is there evidence of unwarranted use of medication or restraints?
Facility or Caretaker Responsibilities
Some warning signs may not be physically obvious, as they can involve neglect that can take some time to manifest. Here are some questions to consider when evaluating the quality of care your loved one has been receiving:
- Is the patient correctly positioned in bed, and turned/moved frequently?
- Are room and facility conditions clean and sanitary? Are fecal or urine odors present in the room or facility?
- Is the staff responsive to family questions and requests for assistance and changes?
- Is there enough staff present for the resident’s unit, and are frequent room visits made?
- Does the staff answer call bells or cries for help in a timely manner?
- Does the staff give proper assistance during meals?
- Does the staff help residents with walking? Does the staff give proper encouragement and assistance with lifestyle activities?
- Are financial matters handled properly? Is stealing or embezzling of a resident’s money or property occurring?
These and other warning signs are often the best way of knowing if neglect or abuse have occurred or will occur. It is up to the resident’s family members or visitors to be observant, and to take action if neglect or abuse is present or suspected.
Contact Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C.
We understand the difficulty of dealing with negligent or abusive treatment of a loved one. If you suspect that your loved one has been subjected to neglect or abuse in a nursing home, assisted living home, or elderly care facility, please call us at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!