Abingdon, Bristol and Johnson City
Elder abuse is a worldwide problem. According to data released by the World Health Organization in the summer of 2018, 15.7 percent of individuals over the age of 60 experienced some form of abuse in a community setting—that’s almost one in six! The data, which is drawn from 52 studies encompassing 28 different countries, is more disturbing for institutions such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities, where two out of every three staff members reported they had committed abuse at least once in the prior year. If your parent is in a nursing home or long-term care facility, you need to be vigilant to the potential of abuse and neglect. Watch for these warning signs that there may be a problem.
Sign #1) Significant emotional or physical changes
Have you noticed a drastic difference in your family member? Have they become withdrawn or stopped socializing? Are you noticing signs of agitation, fearfulness, or sudden weight loss? What about mysterious bruises, skin tears, or bed sores? Any of the above can be signs of abuse or neglect, but they’re not proof. Your next options are to personally observe how the staff interact with your parent or loved one, which may mean dropping in on different days and times for surprise visits. You should feel confident asking staff members for an explanation for anything you’ve observed that you find concerning.
Sign #2) Not getting answers to your questions
You’ve seen enough potential clues of abuse to be worried, and you’ve gone to a staff member. What was their response? If staff are not giving you straight answers to your questions or seem evasive when asked about your parent’s care, this can be a serious red flag. While even the most experienced and qualified staff member isn’t always going to have the answers, questions relating to health concerns like unexplained weight loss already should have a plan in place to address.
Sign #3) A seemingly chaotic staff environment
Does the staff always seem overworked and stretched too thin when you visit your parent or loved one? Are they working well together? Are you noticing interpersonal squabbles among members of the staff? Is vital information about your parent’s care failing to get communicated through shift changes? Do you notice that turnover seems to be abnormally high? Any of the above can be signs of concern—as can a seeming absence of leadership. If you have a hard time finding the facility director or supervisor whenever you visit, that’s a problem.
Sign #4) Your parent expresses concerns about a specific staff member
Experts agree that your family member never should feel worried, uncomfortable, or afraid around any staff member at any nursing home or long-term care facility. It doesn’t matter if your parent is suffering from dementia or another form of cognitive decline; any statement of this kind should be taken seriously.
Elderly Abuse Attorney in Tri-Cities
You want the best for your loved one, and want them to receive the best care. If you have any concerns about nursing home abuse, don’t take any chances. Seek out the legal professionals at the Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., for a consultation. Just give us a call at (276) 451-2056 if you live in the areas of Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City, TN, as well as Bristol, VA and you suspect nursing home abuse of your loved one.