As aging baby boomers move toward retirement, more of them will be seeking quality nursing home care. However, the risk of nursing home abuse and negligence is real and cannot be ignored. Since many residents lack the ability to report abuse committed by staff members to their loved ones, family members, and friends, it is up to relatives and visitors to watch for signs of abuse that can be reported to the appropriate authorities or experienced Long Island nursing home abuse attorneys such as The Law Offices of Mark E. Weinberger P.C. for immediate action.
1. Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, scratches, bumps, bedsores, welts, or swelling, should be checked for their cause. Although residents can sometimes hurt themselves accidentally, it is important to investigate the source of these injuries to rule out the possibility of abuse or neglect.
2. Decline in physical health or mental status may signal abuse. Deteriorating health does occur in older people, but unexplained weight loss, malnutrition, or dehydration, or a change in mental status such as sudden onset of dementia, fearfulness, anxiety, or other psychological changes or behaviors should lead to a doctor’s exam and explanation. Often a family member will notice symptoms in a loved one’s behavior if abuse is occurring.
3. Frequent falls or accidents are a red flag. If the nursing home staff informs you that your loved one is experiencing occasional falls, suffering head traumas, or is subject to injuries requiring stitches or other professional medical treatment, you need to determine the source of the problem. An occasional injury can happen to anyone, but a loved one who is being injured routinely may require intervention and increased supervision to prevent injuries due to understaff or negligence by employees.
4. Missing personal belongings should be inquired about. If the resident is regularly losing clothes, belts, shoes, jewelry, or other personal items, find out why. For example, if your loved one wanders, he may be leaving the objects somewhere and forgetting them. Alternatively, nursing home staff members may be losing, misplacing, or taking a resident’s possessions. A New York nursing home abuse attorney can explain the legalities of this problem and what can be done to prevent theft.
5. Notice how other residents are treated. Although an abused resident may be an exception, it is not unusual for staff members to abuse more than one resident. Although each resident’s situation is individualized, be alert to injuries that are visible on other residents, the level of grooming and hygiene evidenced (or lacking), and their general condition. This may offer helpful insight to your loved one’s treatment and care.
If you suspect a problem, you may want to first contact the resident’s physician to discuss your concerns. For more information about the rights of your loved one living in a nursing home, discuss your observations with Mark E. Weinberger, Long Island nursing home negligence lawyer, whose many years of experience in this important area equip him to answer your questions and guide your investigative pursuit of justice for your loved one.
Contact The Law Offices of Mark E. Weinberger for a free consultationtoday.
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