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Having a friend or family member in a nursing home can be a source of stress. If someone you love is in a nursing home, you want to be sure that you can trust the staff to care for your loved one’s physical, emotional, and medical needs. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. In fact, research indicates that approximately one in every six seniors suffers from nursing home abuse every year.
Common types of nursing home abuse include the following:
- Neglect – The staff of a nursing home is responsible for serving all the basic needs of the seniors under their care. These needs include food, water, medicine, clothing, personal hygiene, maintaining clean living conditions, and helping residents stay active. Oversight or failure to provide any of these needs constitutes neglect. This neglect often can be unintentional and is the result of mitigating factors such as a shortage of staff. However, if nursing home staff failed to provide care to meet the senior’s needs, it could be a case of nursing home abuse.
- Physical abuse – Defined as anything that causes a senior physical harm, physical abuse can come in the form of hitting, pushing or pinching.
- Emotional abuse – Often difficult to identify, this abuse can come in the form of threats, shouting, and/or humiliation from members of the staff. Emotional abuse also might include separating a senior citizen from others or forbidding a resident to participate in activities.
- Sexual abuse – This can be physical but often is psychological in nature – leaving no marks. It could occur via taking photos of seniors, forcing them to undress in front of others, or forcing them to watch others perform sex acts—either in person or in the form of pornography.
- Financial exploitation – One of the most common forms of nursing home abuse, this occurs when a staff member interferes with the finances of a resident in any way. This can include theft, forgery, misuse of bank accounts or credit cards, or identity theft. Caregivers also have been known to develop schemes such as fake investment opportunities or scam charities to cheat seniors out of their money.
Do you suspect a senior you care about is being abused while living in a nursing home? Educate yourself on the signs.
Common signs of senior abuse may include:
- Fractured/broken bones
- Apparent change in mood or personality
- Refusing to eat or speak
- Sudden downgrade in personal hygiene
- Weight loss
- Skin infections
- Anger, and/or being emotionally distant from family and friends
A personal injury lawyer is the best-qualified legal professional to represent your needs in a case of suspected nursing home abuse. The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., have more than three decades of experience in this area. If you have a matter of nursing home abuse you want to pursue, call us at (276) 451-2056 to schedule a free consultation.
The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., are proud to serve clients in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City, TN, as well as Bristol, VA.