If you are visiting a nursing home and see signs of abuse or neglect, trust your instincts and investigate further. Ask questions. If the answers do not make sense or if a staff member dismisses your concerns, take action before the situation gets worse.
If you have questions or concerns, talk to a lawyer experienced with nursing home neglect cases. Call the Snyder & Wenner, P.C. law firm in Phoenix, Arizona.
Often, nursing home residents who are being neglected or abused do not report the problem. They may be afraid of reprisals by the staff or other residents. They may be overmedicated and do not fully understand what is happening. Or they may be in declining mental health. No matter what the reason, they have the right to dignified treatment and care. To ensure quality care, make sure you watch for signs of abuse and neglect when you visit your loved one.
Indicators of Physical Abuse
- Discoloration or bruising on the wrists, inner arms or thighs, choke marks, the presence of old and new bruises in close proximity, or suspiciously shaped bruises that could be caused by restraints
- Cuts, scratches, burns, deep lacerations, and unexplained bleeding
- Drowsiness, drooling, dry or cracked lips, and vacant staring—all signs of overmedication
- The presence of physical restraints on wheelchairs and beds that are not authorized by a doctor
- The sudden or unexpected death of your loved one
Indicators of Nursing Home Neglect
- Rapid weight loss due to malnutrition or dehydration
- Inadequate personal or dental hygiene
- Unkempt appearance such as stained or torn clothing, dirty and uncut fingernails, uncombed or knotted hair
- Signs of feces or urine on residents’ clothing and bedding
- Residents left unattended in bathrooms or hallways
- Bedsores on back, buttocks, elbows, heels, etc.
- An unusually limited number of staff members at the facility
Indicators of Mental Abuse
- Fear, anxiety, or depression
- Resignation, helplessness, withdrawal, or non-responsiveness
- Anger or agitation
- Hesitation to talk openly
- Confusion and disorientation
- Denial or implausible explanations
Indicators of Relational Abuse (Isolation)
- Residents restricted from receiving mail, telephone calls, or visitors
- Residents not given the chance to answer questions or speak for themselves
- Residents not allowed to be alone with anyone
Nursing home abuse and neglect can lead to serious injuries and wrongful death. If that happens, our personal injury attorneys are prepared to help you and your loved one hold the nursing home and staff accountable.
If you suspect a family member has suffered nursing home neglect or abuse, contact our nursing home neglect lawyers for a free consultation. We will help you through this difficult time and fight to get your loved one the compensation and justice he or she is entitled to.