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Detecting Nursing Home Mistreatment

Submitted by jrlaw on Aug 10th, 2010

If you suspect that nursing home mistreatment is affecting your loved one, there are some classic signs to be on the lookout for. Though everyone is an individual, there are some common features to how people react to being abused. Many of these are very recognizable and should be considered cause for concern. You have to balance some of this with the fact that, in our later years, all of us are prone to becoming senile, demented or otherwise mentally compromised. Abuse, however, leaves marks on the body, in many cases, and these may be the best indicators.

Psychologically, senior abuse tends to cause the same wounds as does the abuse of children or domestic abuse. Look for the following:

  • Sudden Depression
  • Withdrawal from Social Activities
  • Confusion
  • Sudden Changes in Personality
  • Unmerited Anger
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt

Physically, a lot of nursing home negligence and abuse manifests as improperly given or completely skipped treatments. If a condition should be getting better, but isn’t, ask your doctor to take a look and see if something is obviously wrong. Doctors know what to expect out of their treatments and, if they’re not getting the results they do expect, they may be able to track down the cause very quickly.

Some nursing home abuse and neglect is deliberate, sadistic and continuous. Despicable as it is, burning is a common manifestation. Look for signs on your loved one’s body of irregular burns. These sometimes include wounds that are in the shape of coins, paperclips or other objects that are heated and used to inflict suffering. You’ll also want to look for the signs that restraints were used too harshly or without any justification whatsoever. There are very few situations where even using restraints is considered medically justified or even ethical.

A nursing home neglect attorney can help you with a lawsuit, if you decide to file one. Some of them work on a contingency basis, which means that they only get paid if they win a jury award or a settlement for you and your loved one. They’re also good resources for detecting the signs of abuse. Sadly, this is because nursing home abuse is not uncommon. A free consultation with one of these attorneys may inform you of whether or not you can file a lawsuit and if you have a good chance of winning one if you decide to.