While nursing homes are a very practical resource for many families, occasionally, patients aren't treated with the care and respect they deserve. Unfortunately, if the patient or resident can't speak up for themselves, proving any type of abuse is a challenge. Even so, you are not powerless to stop the unfortunate treatment practices, nor to hold those responsible accountable.
The Signs Of Abuse
There are obvious and not-so-obvious indications that an elderly person isn't being taken care of properly. There are also different types of abuse, ranging from denial of basic care to the outright infliction of physical harm. Visit your elderly loved one often, and be on the lookout for the following signs.
With aging, some folks tend to change, meaning your elderly loved one may be going through a rough period and although that might explain a change in attitude or health, abuse is much different. A consultation with the patient's physician, preferably off-site of the nursing home, should be conducted.
The Proof You Need To Move Forward
As soon as you suspect abuse, begin to document it. Start a journal, and make note of the date and time of your visits, what staff was present, and the condition of your loved one. Do an inventory of their physical symptoms, along with their personal belongings. Politely ask staff to explain anything unusual, such as a new bruise or continued weight loss, and record their response.
You should take pictures of anything that's not up to standards, like a messy room or dirty linens on the bed. Also, take a recording on your phone of the patient's physical symptoms, if there are any. Move the camera up from the hand to the elbow, for example, if you observe bruising on the wrist. Your photographic evidence will corroborate your notes and provide you with the ammunition you need to move forward.
How A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
Sadly, nursing home abuse attorneys know all about what you're going through; however, that means they're in the position to help you. Get an appointment with a lawyer, like those at Garrison Law Firm, as soon as you have something to go on or sooner if you believe your elderly loved one is in imminent danger. After presenting your evidence, you'll be advised on how to proceed with the case against the nursing home and how best to protect the patient, both in the short and long-term. You'll be reassured that the abuse will be stopped and that someone will have to answer for it.
If you suspect nursing home abuse, follow your instincts. Do whatever is needed to uncover the truth and hold the responsible party accountable in a court of law. If it doesn't stop with your loved one, others are bound to suffer the same fate, and nobody deserves to be mistreated, most especially people who can't speak up for themselves.
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