Identifying the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers in North Carolina
If your loved one is residing in a nursing home and you suspect he or she may be a victim of abuse or neglect, do not ignore your suspicions. While there is no infallible way to identify abuse or neglect without concrete proof, there are several signs that may indicate abuse or neglect are occurring. If you recognize these signs, be sure to take action immediately by contacting a North Carolina nursing home negligence attorney who can advise you on the best course of action.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect occurs when residents are ignored, disregarded, or otherwise mistreated by nursing home staff. This often occurs as a result of understaffing, poorly trained staff, lack of funding, and similar causes.
If you suspect neglect, signs to look for include:
- Unchanged bandages or dressings
- Unchanged or unwashed bed sheets
- Unchanged or unwashed undergarments
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained minor injuries (marks, scratches, bruises, etc.)
- Slip and fall injuries
- Thinning hair
- Skin discoloration
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take several forms: physical, emotional, mental, sexual, or financial. It is important to remember that physical abuse is not the only type of mistreatment your loved one could suffer; be aware of the signs of all types of nursing home abuse.
If you suspect abuse, signs to look for include:
- Unexplained scratches, bruises, burns, cuts, abrasions, etc.
- Marks indicating physical restraints were used
- Open wounds or welts
- Unexplained injuries
- Unusual changes in mood or behavior
- Unwillingness to speak in front of nursing home staff
- Bouts of crying, aggression, or anger
- Bruises around the breasts/genitals
- Unexplained changes to a will, trust, or similar document
- Forged signature on checks/documents
- Unusual cash withdrawals
Be Your Loved One’s Advocate
Please remember that seen individually, these signs could have many possible causes and could simply be signs of aging or deteriorating health. Use your best judgment, but do not be afraid to contact an attorney if your instincts tell you to do so. In the majority of cases, the victim will never speak up or complain about what is happening—either because they are afraid of retaliation or because they have a physical or mental illness that prevents them from doing so. It is better to speak up and be proven wrong than to say nothing while your loved one continues to be abused, neglected, or mistreated.
If you think your loved one may be suffering, trust an experienced North Carolina nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at Lanier Law Group to help you to take the appropriate course of action. While it's natural to feel overwhelmed or shocked by what you have discovered, it is important to act quickly to make sure your loved one is no longer in danger. Our dedicated staff can help you contact the right authorities and as assist you in preparing and filing a personal injury claim on your loved one's behalf. If your loved one has passed away as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, we can help you prepare the legal paperwork needed to file a wrongful death claim.