Nursing home abuse is an unfortunate reality. Nursing homes are profit-driven businesses and during tough economic times good business practice and quality control can suffer in favor of short-sighted profits, quotas and corner cutting. These decisions can result in facilities being understaffed and employees experiencing burnout, as well as resulting in a lack of adequate staff supervision or training. These business decisions can have a direct result in employee attitude and behavior, which, in a long term care facility, can easily translate to mistreatment, neglect and abuse. This can occur in several forms, including the intentional infliction of physical or emotional injuries, sexual assault, financial exploitation, or other types of abuse caused by nursing home staff.
Physical abuse can range from relatively mild to very extreme and can include assault, battery, and rape. Signs that may indicate your loved one is being abused include unexplained bruising or bleeding; open wounds such as bedsores or cuts; ligature marks around throat, mouth, wrists or ankles; burns and abrasions; sudden weight changes; torn clothing; and hair loss.
Emotional abuse in nursing homes can be the result of insults, humiliation, threats and frightening the patient. Signs of emotional abuse are listlessness or unresponsiveness; physical or emotional withdraw; unusual or sudden behavioral changes; depression; and complaints or expressions of fear related to specific staff members.
Poor hiring practices, corporate cost cutting or a staff member’s own greed can result in financial abuse. Signs that a resident of a nursing home is subject to financial abuse include the disappearance of personal items and valuables; sudden and unusual financial transactions, unusual subscriptions or online orders; and personal checks written out to staff members.
If your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse, you should consider immediately removing them from that facility and contact the local authorities. While police intervention and criminal charges can prevent an abusive staff member from harming other victims, it will not provide compensation for injuries for financial losses suffered by a resident at the hands of their abuser. Through a nursing home abuse lawsuit, families may receive a cash payout to cover lost savings, medical bills, and other expenses. If your loved one has suffered any form of abuse from nursing home staff, the attorneys at Dworken and Bernstein can work on your behalf to help you receive the highest amount of compensation possible in the shortest amount of time.