Being able to put an elderly or infirm family member in a nursing home can be a major relief to you and your family, as long as this loved one is receiving the care that he or she needs. Unfortunately, there are cases in which nursing home residents not only fail to get the care that they require, but can also suffer various forms of abuse at the hands of staff. Abuse of the elderly and of those in need of medical care is particularly heinous, so you'll not only want to contact the proper authorities, but also seek legal counsel. An attorney who specializes in cases relating to nursing home abuse will be a valuable ally in your quest to get justice. Here are some signs that can indicate abuse.
Bruises And Other Visible Injuries
As an isolated incident, a bruise on your elderly family member doesn't necessarily indicate abuse. After all, many elderly people can occasionally fall, and easy bruising is common in the elderly community. However, if you're repeatedly seeing bruises, cuts, or scrapes, and even worse issues such as broken bones, this can certainly indicate abuse. This is especially true if you raise some concerns with the nursing home's staff and the answers that you get fail to satisfy you.
While the signs of psychological abuse can be tougher to identify, you have the advantage of knowing your family member well. Assess how his or her demeanor has changed since moving into the nursing home. Someone who has been abused might be jumpy, appear more apologetic than usual, or show signs of diminished self-esteem or even self-hatred. This can occur if a nursing home employee has been repeatedly berating your family member to the point that he or she is afraid and puts less value on himself or herself.
Unfortunately, neglect can also be present in some nursing homes, and this is a sign of abuse. When you go to visit your parent, there are several ways that you can assess neglect. For example, if your parent has had an accident in his or her pants that hasn't been dealt with promptly, this is neglectful behavior on the part of the staff. Additionally, a nursing home resident who is undernourished or living in dirty conditions should concern you. An attorney with experience in nursing home abuse cases will take your case and represent your family member with dignity. Check with a company like Garrison Law Firm for more information.