Signs & Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse
Watching Out for Improper Treatment in Lexington Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse is a national concern defined as an intentional infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, care deprivation, or punishment that results in physical harm, pain, or mental anguish. Specific types of nursing home abuse include assault and battery, prolonged deprivation of food or water, and improper use of physical restraints. In many cases, nursing home residents cannot easily protect themselves from abuse because they are dependent on the very people doing them harm.
Identifying Nursing Home Abuse Symptoms
Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse can be difficult to recognize and link to their cause. Abuse symptoms may be mistaken for signs of dementia or of an elderly person’s frailty, and it’s easy for nursing home staff to explain away abuse symptoms as signs of mental deterioration if you raise questions or show concern. However, if you notice frequent arguments or tension between a nursing home caregiver and your loved one, or changes in your loved one’s personality or behavior, look out for other signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse, such as:
- Unexplained injuries, including bruises, welts, or scars, especially if they appear symmetrically on both sides of the body
- Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations
- Bed injuries and bedsores
- Serious or frequent falls
- Report of drug overdose or apparent failure to take medication regularly, e.g. a prescription has more remaining than it should
- Broken eyeglasses or frames
- Signs of being restrained, such as marks on wrists
- Instances of wandering
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Unsanitary and unclean conditions
- Nursing home caregiver’s refusal to allow you to see the elder alone
- Reluctance to speak in staff member’s presence
Needless to say, undue physical and emotional pain, seclusion, and premature death should not be part of the nursing home experience. By looking out for signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse, you can help ensure your loved one does not suffer serious injury at the hands of an inattentive or malicious caregiver. Do not remain quiet if you suspect your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse.
If You See Signs of Nursing Home Abuse, We Can Help!
Please contact O’Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC, if you’ve seen signs of abuse in a Lexington, KY area nursing home. During a free initial consultation, we can discuss your options for protecting your loved one and obtaining compensation for any injuries he or she has sustained.