Many of us know someone who lives or has spent time in a nursing home. There are more than 16,000 nursing homes in the United States that house approximately 2 million residents. While we expect nursing homes to provide a safe environment and skilled-care for our loved ones, many fail to meet this expectation. This is called nursing home neglect. What are the warning signs you should be looking for?
Physical abuse will often reveal itself through unexplained injuries such as skin tears, bruising, cuts, and more. While it is not uncommon for an elderly person to bruise easily, when it becomes a pattern, it could be a sign that abuse is occurring. Ask about how the injuries occurred and be wary of any answers that do not make sense.
You know your loved one better than anyone, so if there are any sudden changes in their behavior, especially sudden outbursts, don’t second guess yourself and ask questions. If your loved one shows signs of anxiety, fear, embarrassment, agitation, depression, or anger, it could be a sign that abuse has occurred. Even if there are no physical signs of abuse, this does not mean there has not been emotional abuse.
Senior citizens are at a high risk for financial exploitation and abuse. In nursing homes, signs of financial abuse may include:
Unexplained weight loss due to malnutrition or cracked lips and swollen tongue from dehydration are also signs of neglect. They may have untreated physical issues, such as bedsores, or have an unpleasant odor or appearance due to the lack of assistance with personal hygiene.
One of the key duties of nursing home staff is to ensure that residents get the care they need. If your loved one’s health unexpectedly or rapidly declines after moving into a nursing home, this could be a sign of abuse or neglect. Also keep an eye out for a surplus of medication or running out of medications too early.
If you observe any of these signs, act quickly to protect your loved one by contacting our experienced attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. We are all too familiar with the seriousness of nursing home negligence and are prepared to represent our clients in such cases.
Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., a shareholder and managing partner at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., brings 37 years of litigation experience. He is a renowned trial lawyer in Pennsylvania, specializing in medical malpractice, personal injury, and criminal defense. Peter's notable achievements include securing multi-million-dollar verdicts and serving as District Attorney and Judge. He is committed to community involvement and is actively engaged in various legal associations.
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