When you place a family’s members care in the hands of a nursing home, you expect that the workers at the nursing home will provide the care and attention that the person needs. You don’t expect to enter the nursing home to see any kind of abuse that has occurred. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse does take place. It doesn’t always have to involve someone hitting another person. If you suspect that your loved one has been abused, you need to gather evidence, such as pictures or witness statements. Once you have an inclination or proof that abuse is taking place, you need to consult with an attorney who can properly file a claim against the facility or the people who are responsible who work in the facility.
This is a type of abuse that often goes unreported and that you might not know is taking place until your family member has no money left in a bank account or no cash available to purchase the things that are needed during the month. Workers who are in the room with the patient could take money from drawers, wallets or purses. Other ways that workers take money is by transferring funds from the patient’s bank account to the worker’s account. This is sometimes hard to find because the transfer could show as a withdraw of money, and if the patient needs items during the month, then it would seem like the workers have provided for the patient. In reality, the workers get the minimum supplies for the patient or nothing that the patient needs and keep the money for themselves.
There are all types of physical abuse that are seen in nursing homes. A common type is bedsores. Some people are naturally prone to bedsores, and they will occur no matter what the workers in the nursing home do for the patient. However, when workers let a patient stay in one position for long periods of time without turning that person, then sores will occur. The joints are areas of the body where you’ll usually see bedsores and on the back or buttocks. When someone is left in a wet diaper all day or in dirty conditions all day, then it speeds up the process of bedsores forming.
Another type of physical abuse is hitting a patient. Workers sometimes get frustrated with the people they care for because they have so many at one time. There could be patients who are older and contrary, which makes the workers not want to deal with those people. If the worker has a short temper, then hitting can sometimes come easier than if the worker is able to talk to someone and express feelings in a calm manner. Physical nursing home abuse can occur when a worker hits someone with a bare hand or with an object. It can also occur when the person uses restraints that aren’t needed or keeps the person in restraints for a longer time than is necessary. Sometimes, workers throw patients in a bed or slap them if they don’t do what the worker asks or expects.
When you visit with your loved one, pay attention to any bruises that can’t be explained or any bones that appear to be broken. Take pictures of these physical details, showing them to an attorney who can contact the proper people to begin an investigation. If a worker doesn’t want you to be alone in the room with your family member or if your family member doesn’t want to talk or seems to be afraid, then these are usually signs that some kind of abuse is taking place.
One of the types of nursing home abuse that you usually don’t hear about is emotional abuse. Workers can call patients names and treat patients like they don’t matter. They belittle the patients. Sometimes, a worker can ignore the patient when the person is talking or when something is needed. If emotional abuse occurs, it can lead to physical impairments as the person doesn’t get the proper treatment that is needed. The person will often begin to shut everyone out, including family members, and begin to enter into a depressed state.
Unfortunately, there are some workers who will commit sexual abuse. Patients who are unable to communicate or move around as easily as others are often more susceptible to sexual abuse. Workers often threaten patients with harm of some kind if they say anything to another worker or a family member.
When nursing home abuse is suspected, claims can be filed using an attorney. The attorney doesn’t need to wait for the results of an official investigation in most states in order to file a claim against an individual or even against the facility if there is enough evidence presented. Compensation can include transferring the patient to another facility, medical coverage, and payment for pain and suffering. If financial abuse is involved, then the attorney can work to get the funds that were stolen back to the family.