Nursing home abuse is more common than you think. According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 experience some form of elder abuse. Estimates for the number of seniors abused each year are around 5 million, but that number could be much higher because only about 1 out of 14 cases is reported.
Because elder abuse can take many forms—from physical, mental, and emotional abuse to neglect—it’s important to be vigilant if you have a loved one living in a nursing home or assisted living facility or receiving professional care at home.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
While some of the following signs taken alone don’t necessarily mean that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect, if you notice several of these signs together, you should investigate further. Here are 13 signs that your loved one might be a victim of nursing home abuse.
These signs could mean your loved one is being mistreated physically, mentally, or emotionally. If you notice one or more of the following, it’s time to talk to your loved one and the nursing home about what is going on.
- Visible injuries
- Agitation or nervousness
- Sudden changes in behavior
- A desire to be alone
- Loss of mobility
- Change in demeanor around certain staff members
Be sure to document any signs of physical or emotional abuse by taking pictures of injuries, retaining copies of any medical documents, and writing down or recording any conversations you have with your loved one or the nursing home staff.
Neglect is also a form of nursing home abuse. If you suspect your loved one is being neglected by those who are meant to care for them, keep an eye out for these signs.
- Poor hygiene
- Messy or unsanitary living space
- Recurring infections
- Drastic changes in weight
What to Do about Nursing Home Abuse
It’s unfortunate that elder abuse occurs at all, but if it happens to someone you love, you do have options to hold those responsible accountable and to perhaps prevent it from happening again. The first step you need to take if your loved one has been abused is to report it to the authorities. Then, it’s time to take action.
Taking legal action against the abusers or the facility not only provides justice to those who are mistreated, but it also shines a light on the situation so that other victims can come forward. Legal action can also bring change to institutions that have a history of abusive behavior.
Talk to our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Today
To get the justice you deserve, you’re going to need professional help. Get in touch with the legal team at Pacin Levine Attorneys at Law today so that we can talk to you about your case. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can help your loved one.