3 Indicators of Nursing Home Abuse

Karpe Litigation Group

Medical providers are held to extremely high standards, especially those responsible for the care and safety of nursing home residents. While most nursing home staff proudly provides quality care to all residents, there are those unfortunate, isolated instances of nursing home abuse that does occur. Nursing home abuse can include a range of events and scenarios and has a few indicators. If you have a loved one who has experienced nursing home abuse, a nursing home abuse attorney may be able to make certain that compensation is made for their injuries. Give us a call at 317-251-1840 to speak with an expert nursing home abuse lawyer about a potential nursing home abuse claim.

Senior Abuse

Senior abuse or elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship that has an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. Senior abuse in nursing homes takes on the following forms:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial/material exploitation
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment

Too often, senior abuse occurs in the nursing homes that have been hired to care for this growing segment of the population.

See Any Indicators of Nursing Home Abuse?

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Consistently Understaffed Nursing Home Staff

Many nursing homes are chronically understaffed, which makes it difficult for the staff to provide for the level of care required by the residents of the retirement home. leaving workers unable to provide their residents with the attention they deserve. Retirement home residents who don’t receive enough supervision, run the risk of:

  • Falling while trying to get themselves to the bathroom
  • Suffering weight loss due to inadequate nutrition
  • Mis dosing medication

When nursing home residents injure themselves because the facility failed to hire enough qualified employees, they are potentially legally liable for negligence. As your personal injury attorney, we make certain that the company itself is legally liable for negligence.

Is Physical Abuse Present?

Physical abuse is often a sign of nursing home abuse. If you are noticing sudden bruises, broken bones, or other soft tissue injuries may often be signs that your family member is suffering from some form of physical abuse. Unfortunately, there are instances where staff members may try to force residents to eat, take medications, stand up, or even hitting the people for who they’ve been hired to provide high quality geriatric care.

Notice Emotional Abuse?

There are times when overworked staff members lose their tempers, shout at, or speak in a demeaning manor towards the residents of the nursing home. This is called emotional abuse and us a behavior that is never acceptable. Emotional abuse is an indicator of nursing home abuse and often results in a diminished quality of life with serious, and dramatic personality changes. No person deserves to experience emotional abuse.

Have You Seen Any Indicators of Nursing Home Abuse?

If you believe your family member is suffering from nursing home abuse, give us a call at Karpe Litigation Group. We will discuss any and all legal options that you have available. Nursing home abuse happens, and when it does, let us be your nursing home abuse law firm that is your advocate. Call our office at 317-251-1840, we are here and ready to help.

Nursing Home Abuse Signs

Karpe Litigation Group

Nursing homes are environments that should be both caring and peaceful spaces where senior citizens can spend time enjoying their golden years. Unfortunately, there are some nursing homes that fail to live up to the expectation of providing such a space.

There are some nursing homes that are rife with the levels of negligence and abusive behavior that end up in causing serious harm to seniors. If you are visiting one of your elderly loved ones, it’s important to learn to identify the common nursing home abuse signs that can mean that their safety and health is at risk. There are times when a nursing home negligence attorney is needed to represent your loved one’s interest. Nursing home negligence is nursing home abuse.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes, which are essentially fully staffed,  skilled nursing facilities, provide a wide range of health and personal care services to the elderly. Their services focus on medical care more than most assisted living facilities. Nursing homes are also commonly referred to as:

  • Old folks’ homes
  • Care homes
  • Rest homes
  • Convalescent homes
  • Convalescent care
  • Skilled nursing
  • Long-term facilities

As the population of the state of Indiana increases in age, nursing home residencies will continue to grow. Unfortunately, there will be an increase in nursing home abuse signs that will potentially be seen.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

nursing home negligence signs

Sign of Abuse: Malnutrition

Both intentional and accidental forms of neglect will often cause nursing home residents to become malnourished and dehydrated. A common nursing home abuse sign of Individuals suffering from malnutrition, is a sudden unexplained weight loss and feel fatigued or dizzy. Often a sign of inadequate nutrition is poor concentration the risk of illness. Left Untreated, malnutrition can lead to severe disabilities and even death.

Sign of Abuse: Unexplained Injuries

A commonly overlooked sign of nursing home abuse (negligence) is an increase in unexplained injuries. Fall-related injuries occur often with the elderly. Signs such as:

  • Bruises
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones

Unexplained injuries of that type can be due to intentional physical abuse, but these same unexplained injuries could also stem from some forms of neglect. A common cause of injuries of these types would be if the nursing home staff members fail to provide adequate help to rest home residents. A nursing home resident who is prone to falls, might attempt to walk by themselves, which increases their risk of falling and sustaining an injury. Neglect is a form of abuse.

Loved One Showing Nursing Home Abuse Signs?

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Sign of Abuse: Behavioral Changes

Serious forms of nursing home neglect can cause a significant amount of emotional stress in an elderly person’s life. This excess stress manifests itself in number of behavioral changes. Some of the behavioral nursing home abuse signs include the abused:

  • Becoming depressed
  • An increased reluctance to talk with friends or family
  • Neglecting their hygiene
  • Refusing to take medication

Elderly people should be cared for closely and actively monitored. Any noticeable changes should be investigated as a potential sign of nursing home abuse right away.

abuse signs

Actively Monitor Nursing Home Abuse Signs

When you actively monitor nursing home abuse signs, it becomes easier to discover any anomalies that may appear and prevent any nursing home neglect from occurring.  If you are in need of a nursing home neglect attorney, call our office at 800-228-7800 today!

No Excuse For Elder Abuse, Yet Nursing Homes Make Them All The Time

Elder care facilities like nursing homes will make excuses for the neglect or abuse of their residents is accused.

Americans are growing older.

Today, Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) remain the largest living adult generation in the United States and the youngest members are already over 50 years old. Interestingly, it is the Millennial generation (born 1981-1996) that is expected to overtake Boomers in population by 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Generation X (born 1965-1980) is projected to pass the Baby Boomer generation in population by 2028.

Still, more people over the age of 65 than ever before depend on others for basic human needs like bathing, dressing, eating and physically moving. The most rapidly growing segment of the population is aged 85 or older. Research suggests that the 2.5 million individuals living under care in nursing homes, personal care homes, adult congregate living facilities and assisted living facilities are at a much higher risk of abuse and neglect than older persons who live at home. In an era when so many depend on the kindness of strangers in their daily lives, it is disheartening to discover more than one million incidents of elder abuse are reported in nursing homes each year. It gives the reason why it’s important to contact an attorney for nursing home neglect.

elder abuse incidents

We Need A Better Definition of Elder Abuse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), because elder abuse is:

  • poorly or imprecisely defined
  • defined specifically to reflect the unique statutes or conditions present in specific locations (e.g., states, counties or cities) or
  • defined specifically for research purposes

a set of universally accepted definitions does not exist, which can be used to:

  • monitor the incidence of elder abuse
  • examine trends over time
  • determine the magnitude of elder abuse
  • enable comparisons of the problem across locations
  • inform prevention and intervention efforts

However, the most common cause of elder abuse is neglect and abuse in nursing homes – and these are very well-defined.

Nursing Home Neglect

The definition of nursing home neglect is negligence on the part of a caregiver who is indifferent to the health and well-being of the person for whom they are caring. Typically, the main cause of nursing home neglect is the result of understaffing rather than intention. A nursing home without the adequate number of caregivers cannot provide each resident with a proper level of care. A facility that is negligent can be named the cause of resident injuries resulting from this neglect.

Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is defined as the intentional infliction of harm from a caregiver that results in physical or mental injury, pain or disability of a resident. Nursing home abuse typically falls into three categories: Physical abuse, mental and emotional abuse, and sexual abuse.

  • Physical Abuse – Nursing home physical abuse includes any kind of assault or battery on a resident that results in bed sores, bruising, untreated infections or broken bones. This type of abuse can come from family members or nursing home staff and typically is the result of understaffing, emotional distress or personal problems.
  • Mental and Emotional Abuse – Nursing home mental and emotional abuse is more difficult to detect since no physical signs of the abuse may exist. Examples of this abuse include yelling at, belittling, embarrassing or threatening the resident in any way. This type of abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse. Caregivers who engage in mental and emotional abuse usually isolate the resident from friends and family while ignoring the wants and needs of the resident.
  • Sexual Abuse – Nursing home abuse includes sexual attacks and engaging in sexual behavior with a resident without their consent, which can lead to both physical and emotional injury to the resident in the perpetrator’s care.

Why Nursing Homes Make Excuses When Accused of Elder Abuse

It’s simple. Both the management and staff of elder care facilities like nursing homes, personal care homes, adult congregate living facilities, assisted living facilities and even in-home caregivers make excuses when accused of elder abuse or neglect to defend themselves, regardless of wrongdoing – and especially in light of a lawsuit. The most common excuses include:

  • The injury was unavoidable because we can’t watch residents 24 hours a day.

It is the job of a nursing home to provide care and protection 24 hours a day. Most injuries should be avoidable if a nursing home is properly staffed with competent caregivers.

  • Other health issues are the actual cause of the injury in question.

While it is true that residents can have a variety of health issues, it is the responsibility of an elder care facility to be aware of all issues and any resulting complications for each resident. It is imperative for any nursing home to have a plan in place for the proper assessment of residents and implement personalized care plans developed in cooperation with family members. A detailed care plan should cover all known health issues and possible complications.

  • I don’t recall.

It is common for faulty caregivers to claim they have no recollection of how an injury occurred. This unacceptable excuse is the result of a caregiver having inadequate knowledge of the resident in their care and improperly implementing a personalized care plan.

  • The chart didn’t show a record of being in pain.

There is a difference between a resident not being in pain, and pain not being recorded. Sometimes residents are unable to communicate that they are experiencing pain due to mental or physical limitations.

  • We administered care; it just wasn’t documented.

Proper documentation is the cornerstone of proper care. It allows for communication about treatments and responses to those treatments. Poor documentation is negligent and doesn’t not hold up to the standard of treatment and the law.

  • We did not have the capacity to give proper care.

While this statement may be true, it is an unacceptable excuse. It is an admission that a facility has failed to properly staff and train enough caregivers to meet the needs of the number of residents. By placing the blame elsewhere, an elder care facility is denying the responsibility of providing care at an expected standard.

Many nursing homes and other elder care facilities also defend themselves by admitting they only use their policies and procedures as guidelines for proper care of residents. However, a much stricter interpretation of the rules is necessary for a nursing home to provide proper care, including a tighter system governing the activities of caregivers and clearly defined methods of taking care of residents that avoid injury.

Personal Attention from Professional Attorneys

If you or someone you love has been harmed in a nursing home or other elder care facility, talk with the professional attorneys at Karpe Litigation Group today. We are experts in injury law, winning the most challenging cases and helping those in need for 20 years and counting. There is no fee until we win for you. Committed to making things easy for you, we are happy to meet by appointment on evenings and weekends, and travel to you when needed. Give us a call today at 1-888-228-7800 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation.