We trust nursing homes to care for our loved ones and keep them safe and healthy. It can be devastating to discover that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect at one of these facilities. It’s even more devastating when a loved one dies as a result of this abuse.
According to a June 2019 study, cases of nursing home abuse are rapidly growing in the U.S. – more than doubling between 2013 and 2017. On top of that, many believe that these nursing home injuries are severely underreported.
Your loved one may never report a case of abuse or neglect at their nursing home, and they may not even have the capacity to do so. It is up to you to keep an eye out for any signs of injury, and make sure your loved one is being treated with the highest level of care at their nursing home.
Common nursing home injuries
The key to recognizing the signs of abuse lies in knowing the most common types of nursing home injuries. These include:
- Bed sores
- Medication errors
- Sexual assault
As you can see, these injuries range from physical to psychological. Many of them, when left unchecked, can also result in death.
When visiting your loved one, always check for signs of physical damage such as bruising or broken bones. Bed sores in particular are one of the most common injuries. In early stages, a bed sore can appear as a simple red rash – but over time this rash will develop into legions on the skin and serious infections in the flesh. The earlier you notice these physical symptoms, the more you can do to keep your loved one safe.
Additionally, be aware of your loved one’s mental state and behaviors. They may be the victim of sexual assault, or they may feel threatened by nursing home staff to not report an incident of abuse.
What are your options?
Nursing home injuries can stem from either negligence or outright abuse. A staff member may have physically abused a resident, or the facility may have simply neglected to change a broken light bulb, resulting in a serious fall.
Both of these scenarios require you to take swift legal action – not only to protect your loved one and get compensated for their injuries, but to help prevent any similar incidents from occurring in the future.
If you believe your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect, always look further into the matter. Ask your loved one questions, and make more frequent visits to monitor their health and behavior. The longer you wait to take action, the longer your loved one may suffer.