Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse
Although some signs and symptoms of elder abuse are obvious, many others are subtle and go undetected. Unfortunately, these subtle signs often remain undiscovered until it is too late. In fact, elderly people who experience physical or mental abuse in a nursing facility have a 300% higher mortality rate than those who have not been abused.
Any physical, verbal or emotional abuse in a nursing home is unlawful and can have a severe impact on the overall health and wellbeing of the victim. Below are common warning signs and symptoms that indicate potential abuse of your elderly family member:
Bed Sores. Also called pressure sores, these skin injuries occur when a person is left to lie in bed in the same position for an extensive period of time. When a person lies in the same position, blood flow to pressure points on their body is diminished, which then allows bed sores to form.
Dehydration or Malnutrition. If an elderly person’s food and water consumption is not properly monitored, they are likely to suffer from severe or life-threatening health complications due to dehydration or malnutrition.
Broken Hips or Other Bones. Elderly individuals are susceptible to broken hips or other bones due to osteoporosis, poor balance and weakened eyesight. Therefore, they should always be assisted by a caregiver when walking, bathing, or getting in or out of bed. Broken bones may indicate a resident is not being properly cared for or assisted.
Bruises, Welts or Lacerations. Often dismissed by staff members as the result of clumsiness or an unfortunate accident, these skin abrasions can indicate physical abuse by unkind or impatient caregivers.
Depression or Uncharacteristic Behavior. Heightened psychological distress and feelings of worthlessness often accompany abuse, causing many mistreated elders to fall into a deep depression or to display uncharacteristic behaviors. If you notice your elderly loved one has suddenly become withdrawn, has diminished interest in activities they once enjoyed, or talks about committing suicide, it is imperative to seek help immediately.
If you suspect an aging loved one is the victim of elder abuse, please contact our experienced and compassionate West Virginia nursing home abuse lawyers as soon as possible. We will work hard to ensure that justice is served.