One of the most excruciating decisions a family may be faced to consider is the need to put an elderly loved one in a nursing home. Not only is there the potential for feeling guilty because you can no longer care for the person who raised you, but you also have concerns or fears to entrust the health and well being of a frail, elderly person to the hands of strangers. So imagine the horror you would feel if you suspect a parent or grandparent is suffering abuse or neglect. If you suspect a loved one is being neglected or abused, check for one or more of these signs which may indicate neglect.
Signs of neglect
The reason you put your loved one in a nursing home was because they were unable to care for themselves in many basic ways:
• Maintain proper hygiene
• Feed themselves
• Take medicine properly
In addition, they may also suffer from limited mobility and memory loss. After you put them in a nursing home, you expect the staff to provide your loved one with those needs. When an elderly person is neglected, they show signs that those basic needs aren’t being met:
• Bed sores
• Symptoms of dehydration or malnutrition
• Symptoms that their medicine is not being administered
• Smells of urine or feces
• Looking unkempt such as hair not being brushed or wearing dirty clothes
• Lack of basic hygiene such as bathing or brushing teeth
This list is by no means all inclusive. If it seems your loved one is not receiving a standard of care that a reasonable person would expect, you should investigate whether your loved one is being neglected.
Signs of abuse
If anything is worse than neglect, it is abuse. An elderly person has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. The elderly should never suffer any of the following forms of abuse:
• Isolation from the other patients
• Unreasonable restraints
• Screamed at, insulted, or threatened
• Hit, slapped, struck, bit
• Sexually assault
• Discriminated against for any reason
• Unreasonably medicated to control behavior
Furthermore, they definitely should not be inflicted with mental or physical pain or punishment. Some signs of this type of abuse are:
• Bruises or cuts
• Broken bones, especially broken hips
• Becomes withdrawn
• Wants to be away from other patients
• Starts biting
• Afraid to speak around the nursing home staff
• Shows nervous behaviors you haven’t seen previously
• Sudden death
Like the signs of neglect, these signs are not all inclusive and limited to just these indicators. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, don’t hesitate to take action. You need to do everything you can to protect the life, health and rights of your loved one.
Getting legal help
You can file a complaint on your own and even try to change nursing homes. However, elder abuse and neglect is not only illegal, it violates the rights of a group of people who cannot defend themselves. A Minnesota personal injury attorney can help you get results, stand up for the rights of your loved one, and even get your loved one compensation for any injury they might have occurred. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, don’t hesitate to call a personal injury lawyer. Your love one’s life might depend on it.
Paige Donnelly Attorneys at Law in St. Paul MN have 50 years of experience in personal injury claims throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota. The personal injury lawyers at Paige Donnelly specialize in many practice areas such as car accidents.