When you entrust another person or facility to care for your elderly family member, you expect that he or she will treat them as you would yourself. Unfortunately that is not always the case, and often times the result is nursing home abuse or neglect. Therefore, it is imperative to understand and recognize the many signs and warnings of a potential nursing home abuse situations.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, there are several risk factors that play a role in the probability of nursing home abuse. For example many factors of nursing home abuse may include:
- No abuse prevention policy at facility
- The staff is not properly educated or trained
- The staff is not properly screened upon hire
- Increased staff stress or burnout
- Increased staff ratio or turnover
- Facility has a history or deficiencies or complaints
- Culture, management, and physical environment of the facility
- Unmet needs of the patients (behavioral/cognitive symptoms)
- Resident-visitor frequency
- Staff interaction with residents
Being aware of the type of environment that is conducive for nursing home abuse is a good place to start, however, once the abuse has begun, prompt intervention is important to saving your loved one from further pain and suffering. Below are some of the physical and emotional red flags that can potentially be signaling nursing home abuse as well:
- Bedsores, skin tears, bruises, lesions, or rashes
- Urine or feces odor
- Lack of attention on hygiene
- Depression or isolation
- Fear and anxiety
- Mood changes
- Significant weight loss
- Unjustified chemical or physical restraints
Additionally there is also an increased rate of financial fraud and exploitation that unfortunately puts elderly residents at risk for abuse as well. Sadly, it seems that one of the most common forms of nursing home abuse is financial exploitation due to the fact that the residents are so reliant on his or her caregivers. Moreover, healthcare fraud is yet another form of nursing home abuse as well, in which the facility or caregiver charges additional medical services that are not rendered to the patient. Tragically, not only is the nursing home worker abusing the resident financially, the patient is not receiving his or her proper medical care.
If any of the following signs of nursing home abuse are noticed on your loved one the situation must be promptly reported to the nursing home facility administrator. Likewise, if you have a suspicion of elder abuse you must consult with a skilled Kansas City nursing home abuse attorney to help you protect your loved one further. The experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Klenofsky & Steward, LLC understand that your family’s safety is of the utmost importance. We will vehemently fight on your behalf to make sure your loved one is protected and you receive the fair financial compensation you deserve. Please contact us today for a free consultation.