Nursing homes are meant to be places of safety. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
“If you’re in the situation where you need to place a loved one in a nursing home, you want to know they will be safe, treated with respect and dignity and will be well cared for. The last thing you want to find out is that they are being abused. While you might not want to think about that, this does happen in a great number of nursing homes. Your loved one may be facing physical or emotional abuse on a daily basis. Are you aware of what is going on in the nursing home?” asked Michael Smith, an Arkansas injury lawyer.
Those who aren’t certain what is going on in a nursing home and whether or not their relative is indeed safe should watch for the sometimes-subtle warning signs. This is actually a very significant responsibility for those with family members in a home, as seniors are not throwaway people to be ignored and treated badly. They are people who deserve respect and protection. If they are not getting what they deserve, it’s crucial to consult with an Arkansas injury lawyer to put a stop to the abuse.
Physical abuse tops the list of atrocities that seniors may face every day; abuse that inflicts physical harm. This may involve slapping, hitting, pinching, shoving or other forms of direct physical contact. There is also a more subtle form of indirect abuse that may involve food deprivation or withholding needed medications. This kind of abuse virtually ensures long-term trauma for seniors who have to rely on the help of others while in the home.
“While it might seem obvious to say look for bruises, I don’t necessarily mean bruises on their hands and arms, although that is a common location. There may be bruising and welts in other locations as well. Be aware of their physical condition at all times, as any change may signal they are being abused. For instance, inner leg bruising may indicate sexual abuse. If you don’t know, don’t waste time arguing with management, contact a skilled personal injury lawyer and find out what can be done,” Smith said.
In some cases, abuse manifests itself as broken bones, sprains and dislocations in the hip area; usually a result of being shoved and pushed about by a caregiver. This causes hip dislocation and a possible fall. Shoulder injuries may also arise from rough handling.
“Look for broken glasses that may be a result of someone applying force to their face. Also be alert for rope marks on wrists, a sign of illegal restraint. The bottom line is, if the nursing home isn’t happy to have you visit your mom or dad or grandparents alone, be wary and alert,” Smith said.
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