The Mininno Law Office takes a firm stand against New Jersey nursing home abuse. We fight against careless and negligent facilities, and we do our best to post useful information to assist those dealing with sick loved ones and nursing homes. Yesterday, we posted advice on how to pick a quality nurisng home. Today’s post will deal with signs that your loved one may be being abused or neglected in their long term care facility.
Below is a list of red flag symptoms concerning nursing home abuse and neglect. Noticing any of these should prompt immediate action.
Nursing Home Abuse: 9 Red Flags
Bedsores or open wounds (also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers): A sure sign of neglect. Bedsores form when soft tissue is compressed between a bony prominence and an external surface for a prolonged period of time. Failing to reposition bedridden patients often results in bedsores.
Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains or fractures: Mysterious injuries such as these could be attributed to roughness and mishandling of feeble and fragile patients.
Falls in shower, out of bed or out of chairs, resulting in injury: This is a sign that patients are being left to fend for themselves during difficult tasks like moving from the bed to the bathroom. Many patients need help to complete these tasks, and without being checked on regularly, can easily hurt themselves trying to do it alone.
Dehydration, malnutrition, or weight loss: Residents being neglected will often suffer from some, or all, of the above symptoms. Abuse and neglect can lead to depression, which in turn could result in malnutrition and weight loss.
High staff turnover: If a nursing home staff is constantly new and residents are being treated by new caregivers all of the time, the likelihood that that they are receiving quality care is very low. Errors occur often amoung new staff members. Workers leaving and going elsewhere could also be a sign that they are underpaid and overworked. Underpaid and overworked nursing home staff are a large source of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections; vaginal or anal bleeding; torn, stained or bloody garments: Unfortunately, sexual abuse is a very real issue in nursing homes. If you notice any of these signs, act immediately.
Loss of resident’s possessions, or sudden changes in the resident’s will, bank accounts or other financial documents: Theft and fraud are very real and very prevalent forms of nursing home abuse. If anything goes missing, whether it be belongings or money, investigate immediately.
Refusal or delays to have visitation with the resident: If a nursing home is guilty of abuse or neglect, of course they won’t be quick to allow you to come and see your loved ones. Often, if they allow visitation, they will refuse to let you be alone with your loved one. This is something to be very weary of. Now, your loved one does not feel comfortable telling you what’s really going on.
Over-sedation or overuse of restraints: Caregivers have gone to jail for using unprescribed morphine to calm patients they feel are “combative.” This is a life threatening practice, and has taken lives in the past.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you notice one or more of the above symptoms, it is likely the nursing home facility you have entrusted with the care of your loved one is acting negligently. Do not wait to seek help. A nursing home abuse attorney will be able to sit down with you and discuss what happened, what you’ve seen, and determine if you have a case against the care facility. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at 856-833-0600 in New Jersey, or 215-567-2380 in Philadelphia. Let us get you the compensation you deserve.