Signs Of Abuse Or Neglect
- Bedsores – Bedsores are sometimes called pressure sores or decubitous ulcers. These sores are caused by poor nutrition and prolonged pressure on the bodies of patients allowed to lie unattended for long periods of time. Bedsores first appear as painful red inflammations on the skin, and can worsen until the sore eats through skin and muscle to expose bone. A properly cared for nursing home resident will not suffer from bedsores.
- Bruises – Bruises heal slowly in people with poor circulation, and can be caused from many things, but always should be investigated. Sometimes bruises can be the result of rough treatment, falls, or even sexual abuse.
- Falls – Serious and/or frequent falls are a definite symptom of adult care facility neglect. Document all falls, even minor ones. It is the legal responsibility of an adult care facility to help prevent falls.
- Restraints – Nursing homes use both physical and chemical restraints on their patients. These include leg restraints, arm restraints, hand mitts, cuffs, wheelchair safety bars, bedrails, lap pillows and tight beds sheets. Some may use heavy sedatives to make patients more manageable. Legally, restraints are only to be used if authorized in writing by a doctor for a specified and limited time period or when necessary to protect the resident.
- Weight Loss – Proper nutrition and hydration are extremely important for long-term care residents. Without proper nutrition, the body begins to eat itself in a serious medical condition called “cachexia.” Also, malnutrition increases susceptibility to other diseases and increases suffering. If you notice your relative in adult long-term care losing weight, especially if other abuse and neglect warning signs are present, don’t wait to report it.
- Anxiety, fear – Signs of psychological abuse may be harder to spot. If your loved one is constantly concerned with what the caregiver or staff wants or needs (and the dismissal of their own needs), mental or psychological abuse might be occurring. If your loved one begs you not to leave when you visit, this may also be a sign. If you notice new phobias, or if your loved one becomes frightened at things that he/she was not afraid of before, psychological harm may be happening.
For additional information, please see Questions About Nursing Home Abuse, Elder Care Resources and Reporting Neglect and Abuse.
Our nursing home attorneys can help if you are wondering about the quality of care your elderly loved one is receiving. Please contact our Little Rock, Alabama law office today and we will be happy to set up a no-cost personal consultation for you.