Most nursing homes provide diligent care, but elder abuse is still a widespread problem in the United States. According to the National Council on Aging, some estimates suggest that up to 5 million elderly people suffer abuse each year – but only 1 in 14 cases gets reported.
If your family member is in a retirement home, it is vital that you learn the signs of abuse and neglect, and understand what to do if you suspect mistreatment. You can report nursing home abuse to the Alabama Department of Human Resources by calling the Adult Abuse Hotline at 1-800-458-7214. Contact law enforcement if someone is in immediate danger.
You should also consult an injury lawyer to find out if you or your family member has grounds for a personal-injury claim. The at-fault staff member or facility may be liable for damages including medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
A Birmingham injury attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC will tenaciously and compassionately represent your interests. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation.
What Types of Nursing Home Abuse Exist?
Nursing home abuse takes many forms. Common examples include:
- Emotional abuse;
- Physical abuse;
- Sexual abuse;
- And financial exploitation.
What Are the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse?
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No two cases of abuse are exactly alike, and the warning signs can vary significantly from one victim to the next. If your loved one is in a nursing home, the National Institute on Aging recommends that you look for the following signs of mistreatment:
- Sudden behavioral changes or moodiness;
- Withdrawal from social interaction;
- Caregiver refuses to let you visit the resident alone;
- Or the caregiver is rude, aggressive or inattentive.
- Sudden or unexplained bruises;
- Broken bones;
- Or restraint marks on the wrists or ankles.
- Unexplained sexually transmitted disease;
- Or trauma to genitals.
- Evidence of unused medication;
- Poor hygiene;
- Complaints of hunger;
- Cluttered and unclean living space;
- Dirty bedding;
- Bedsores and ulcers;
- Or a lack of water, heat or electricity.
- Sudden inability to pay bills;
- Increase in gift-giving to staff members or other residents;
- Unexplained financial transfers to staff members’ accounts;
- Or unexpected adjustments to the resident’s will.
What Signs Indicate That a Nursing Home Is Unsafe?
You should conduct thorough research before choosing a nursing home for yourself or a family member. Your first visit should be unannounced because you want to see how the facility runs on a day-to-day basis.
You should be concerned if you notice:
- The facility is unclean and disorganized;
- Staff members are not answering phone calls quickly;
- Residents appear to have poor hygiene;
- The staff seems rude;
- Staff members refuse to answer your questions;
- Or residents say they have been mistreated.
If you suspect that your loved one was abused or neglected at a nursing home, you should report the mistreatment immediately. Taking action will put a stop to the abuse and prevent other residents from suffering the same fate.
After you report the abuse, contact a Birmingham injury attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. Our legal team will help you pursue the maximum compensation. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.