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What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

When an elderly or disabled family member goes to a nursing home it is most often because their family feels they can no longer care for their loved one as well as is needed. Putting a loved one into the care of someone else can be a stressful and scary process. You are trusting that others will take care of them and ensure their safety. However, when nursing home abuse occurs, it can feel like the entire system has let you down. 

If you suspect a loved one is being abused or neglected, it’s essential to understand what signs to look for and what you can do if it has happened.

Are There Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse?

While the term “abuse” typically makes us think of physical abuse, there are also other kinds of abuse to be on the look for when it comes to your loved one. These include neglect, emotional/psychological abuse, and financial abuse. Any type of abuse is harmful, and noticing signs early is vital.

Signs of Physical Abuse

Signs of physical abuse include some that are more visible, as well as ones that you may need to specifically look for:

  • Broken bones
  • Scrapes, cuts, and bruises that are unexplained
  • Bedsores or other ulcers on the skin
  • Medication errors, either being given more or less of their prescribed medication dose
  • Unexpected deaths, i.e. if there has been no sign that your loved one’s health has been failing

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Signs of emotional abuse may be more subtle, such as:

  • Increased fear or withdrawal from loved ones and things they enjoy
  • Unexplained or frequent crying
  • Complaints of treatment that was poor or of issues with staff members

Signs of Financial Abuse

Financial scams and abuse are much more common than we would like to believe. Nursing homes are often one of the spaces where the elderly are at their most fragile, so swindlers often prey on people in these places. 

Some signs of financial abuse include:

  • Changes in your loved one’s will or other legal documents
  • Money leaving their bank accounts, often in the form of checks to financial advisors or “helpers”, or other unexpected withdrawals
  • Transfers of money or assets
  • New credit cards issued in their name, or additional people added as users on their existing cards and accounts
  • Your loved one being unwilling to talk about finances with you or other family members
  • Missing personal belongings

Signs of Neglect

nursing home neglect

Neglect is one of the most overlooked forms of abuse, as it can sometimes be easy to miss. 

Signs include:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Decreases in the quality of your loved one’s personal cleanliness or the sanitation of their living space

What Can You Do If Your Loved One Has Been Abused at a Nursing Home?

nursing home staff

Discovering abuse can be frightening, and you may feel at a loss as to what to do. If you notice signs of abuse or neglect, you should first contact your local police. In many cases, abuse is also punishable by law. 

Additionally, you should also contact a lawyer or legal team who can represent you and your loved one. Nursing homes often have dedicated legal teams, and it’s essential for you to have one as well so you and your loved one can be fairly compensated for the pain and stress that has been caused.

A lawyer will be able to help you build a case against the nursing home for the harm they have done. This may include filing a suit on your loved one’s behalf, as well as seeking personal injury compensation for any physical harm that they have suffered.

At Crossen Law Firm, we have years of experience helping families throughout Indianapolis gain the compensation that they are entitled to after nursing home abuse. If you believe that your loved one may be a victim, don’t hesitate to call us. You will not owe anything unless your case is won. 

Call Crossen Law Firm at (317) 401-8626 or contact our firm online to get started.