What are Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nashville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Explains How to Spot Elder Neglect
It can be difficult to know whether your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, even when you visit regularly. As a visitor, you do not see the normal day-to-day interactions between your loved one and the staff, doctors and other residents. Additionally, negligent or abusive workers may take steps to behave differently when you visit or deflect your questions. However, you can stay alert for common signs of physical and emotional abuse or neglect. If you notice any warning signs, then you should take steps to protect your loved one. An elder abuse lawyer can help you move your relative to another facility and hold the negligent nursing home accountable for subpar treatment.
Stanley A. Davis, a nursing home attorney in Nashville, has experience fighting for the rights of seniors across Tennessee. He can address your concerns for a loved one’s safety in a free initial consultation. He can also explain the implications of the most common nursing home abuse signs. If your loved one is a Tennessee nursing home resident at a negligent facility, then contact our law firm today.
What are Nursing Home Abuse Signs and Symptoms?
Sometimes, your loved one may be incapable of telling you that nursing home abuse is happening. However, even if your loved one could tell you of mistreatment, he or she may stay silent due to fear or shame. Therefore, as their voice and advocate, you should stay alert for the telltale signs of nursing home abuse, including:
- Bedsores. These lesions appear when a patient remains in one position for too long, and pressure damages the tissue. In a nursing home, this may happen when staff does not help an individual who is confined to a bed or wheelchair change positions.
- Broken bones, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury (TBI). These types of nursing home injuries can occur when an elderly resident falls. Though nursing homes cannot prevent all slip and fall accidents, they must promptly treat any injuries. Additionally, they must take measures to minimize the risk of a fall.
- Unexplained marks and bruises. Nursing home staff may use unreasonable or unwanted restraints to control or punish.
- Overmedication. Does your loved one act like he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Several studies suggest the staff of nursing homes may overmedicate and oversedate their residents. Improper use or distribution of medications can cause medical injuries.
- Fear of staff. Visible fear of workers may indicate verbal or sexual abuse. Abusive nursing home staff may threaten or intimidate residents into silence about poor conditions.
- Rapid weight loss. This may be a sign of neglect, including failure to provide food and drink.
- Unsanitary conditions. Dirty sheets, clothing or rooms may indicate that the staff is neglecting residents in other areas as well.
If you notice any of these signs and need to know what to do about nursing home abuse, then contact our Nashville law firm now.
How Can a Nursing Home Staff Shortage Cause Neglect?
A lack of adequate staff can create an environment of neglect and abuse. Even if the nurses and staff members are caring and qualified, they may not be able to provide all residents with the care they need if the facility employs too few personnel. Inadequate staff can be a warning sign of a negligent Tennessee nursing home.
Inadequate or insufficient nursing home staffing can lead to a number of issues including:
- Irregular eating and drinking schedules
- Lack of hygienic care, such as regular baths
- Neglect of bedridden patients, which can lead to bedsores
- Failure to treat wounds or illnesses regularly, causing infection
- Failure to prevent slip and fall accidents
- Rough handling or aggressiveness with residents, causing bruising and/or other wounds
- Failure to address environmental hazards, such as wet floors, improperly maintained wheelchairs or inadequate bed heights, increasing the risk of spine and brain injuries
In many cases, companies are aware of the potentially fatal situations in which they put their residents. However, financial motivations keep these dangerous nursing homes open.
Need Help to Stop Elder Abuse and Neglect? Call a Nashville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
We depend on nursing homes to ensure that loved ones remain as healthy and happy as possible as they age. In turn, nursing home residents rely on these facilities and nursing home staff for medical and dental care, shelter, meals and daily assistance. Yet, residents inside many Tennessee nursing homes continue suffering serious injury and wrongful death due to nursing home neglect and abuse.
Learn how to spot nursing home abuse signs and symptoms in a free initial consultation with our attorney in Nashville. If you believe your loved one is being abused, then we can investigate the cause and help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Call our Tennessee law office at (615) 690-2080 or contact us online today.