More than 1 million elderly individuals in this country are in the care of nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Sadly, many of these individuals are abused or neglected after entering these kinds of residential arrangements which they or their loved ones believed would provide them with adequate and respectful care. Studies have shown that a high percentage of questionable deaths that occur in nursing homes result from neglect. Malnutrition, dehydration, and bed sore infection are a few of the examples of things that may constitute evidence of nursing home abuse or neglect.Nursing home abuse may be physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional. Violent acts, humiliation, deprivation, sexual assault, and involuntary confinement are some examples of abuse that has been reported in nursing homes. When one has a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is important to take immediate action at the first sign of this kind of issue. The following are a few of the things that should alert one’s attention for investigating abuse or neglect:

  • Questionable bruising, fractures, cuts, or burns
  • Bed wetting
  • Depression
  • Genital infections
  • Changes in mood or appetite
  • Bed sores
  • Withdrawal
  • Weight issues
  • Poor Hygiene
  • Safety Hazards
  • Inadequate medical care
  • Dirty, torn, or stained clothing
  • Missing money or possessions
  • Sudden changes in legal or financial documents

Further investigation may also be necessary if one is not allowed to visit residents alone, or it appears a patient is being exploited financially. Abuse or neglect may lead to pro-longed suffering or the wrongful death of a loved one, and is often handled as a criminal matter. Patients and families who have been subjected to this kind of treatment may also have grounds for civil legal action against the abuser and care facility involved. A qualified attorney who specializes in personal injury law, and has experience successfully handling nursing home abuse or neglect cases can advise victims on the right legal steps to take.

Related articles: Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Medical Negligence, and Food Poisoning.