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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Nursing Home Abuse on October 20, 2020

No family wants to imagine the possibility of nursing home abuse or neglect when it entrusts the care of an elderly relative to a facility in Tampa. The sad reality, however, is that not all nursing homes live up to the expected standards of resident care. Some try to save money through understaffing and cutting corners in resident safety. Others employ criminals who intentionally abuse, neglect and injure vulnerable elderly residents. Staying vigilant for possible signs of nursing home abuse and neglect could help you spot these wrongs and take swift action.

Physical Signs

Be on the lookout for one of many possible physical signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. Each time you visit your loved one or see him or her through video chat, pay attention to how your loved one looks. Make note of any new or unusual injuries, as well as the overall appearance of your loved one. If you notice any red flags, ask your loved one what happened. Then, investigate further regarding potential nursing home abuse or neglect.

  • Fall injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Hip fractures
  • Head injuries/concussions
  • Dislocations
  • Burns
  • Bite marks
  • Strap marks
  • Welts or bruising
  • Malnourishment
  • Dehydration
  • Infections/bedsores
  • Unkempt or unclean appearance
  • Unexpected death

Ask the nursing home for an explanation behind your loved one’s marks, scars or injuries. If the explanation does not make sense, your loved one experiences frequent injuries or trips to the emergency room, or your loved one’s injuries are severe, it could be a sign of intentional physical abuse. The nursing home may also be guilty of abuse if it does not handle your loved one’s injuries or medical care correctly. Failing to contact you right away about an injury or illness, for example, could be a sign of the nursing home hiding something.

Nonphysical Signs

Nursing home abuse and neglect may not only injure a resident physically but also emotionally, mentally, psychologically and psychosocially. If your elderly loved one is suffering physical, verbal, mental, sexual or financial abuse at a nursing home in Tampa, you may notice nonphysical signs of something wrong. Speak to your loved one often to notice changes more easily.

  • Changes in behavior or personality
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Emotional agitation
  • Feelings of guilt, shame or fear
  • Signs of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Withdrawal from others or activities
  • Wanting to be alone or isolated
  • Becoming noncommunicative
  • Overall decline in mental health
  • Heavy sedation

Ask your loved one what is wrong. Listen carefully to his or her explanation. If you think your loved one is under duress or lying for fear of retaliation, investigate further with a phone call to the nursing home. Many senior citizens do not come forward with reports of abuse or neglect for fear of retaliation or their loved ones not believing them. Assure your loved one that you believe any allegations of abuse. Then, take immediate action to protect him or her from further harm.

What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Tampa

Take your loved one out of the nursing home and to a hospital right away if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect. Obtain a doctor’s opinion on what might have caused the injuries. Then, call the police if you believe the nursing home harmed your loved one. The police can investigate the facility and may cite its owners for infractions related to health or safety standard violations. Once the investigation starts, contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Tampa about a possible civil claim.

A lawyer can help you and your family go up against a nursing home that is guilty of abusing or neglecting its residents in Tampa. Your attorney can help you gather evidence of a nursing home’s wrongdoing, such as photographs and eyewitness statements, as well as file your personal injury claim against the correct defendant. Then, your lawyer can fight for maximum compensation for your loved one’s economic and non-economic damages. You do not have to go through this alone. Working with a lawyer from the beginning of your nursing home abuse or neglect case can improve the chances of a successful resolution.