Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
If your loved one is in a nursing home in North Carolina, then you should check on their well-being regularly. It is crucial for you to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect. In some cases, these signs and symptoms are visible, but that is not always the case. Abuse and neglect often lead to emotional and psychological symptoms as well.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Statistics
Data presented by the National Council on Aging shows that around one out of every ten Americans aged 60 and over have experienced some form of elder abuse. Additionally, some estimates say that as many as 5,000,000 elderly individuals are abused each year across this country. Sadly, this number is likely underreported because other studies show that only one out of every 24 cases of elder abuse are reported to authorities.
The National Center on Elder Abuse has provided studies that show that at least one out of every 10 community-dwelling older adults in this country experienced some form of abuse in the year prior to the study. This means that 10% of Americans inside nursing homes and other assisted living facilities experience some form of elder abuse or neglect each year.
Signs of Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes
There are various signs and symptoms that family members and friends should be aware of that could indicate a person is experiencing abuse or neglect inside of a nursing home. This includes both physical signs as well as emotional abuse warning signs.
- Physical signs. The most common signs of physical abuse in a nursing home include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Cuts or lacerations
- Skin tears
- Fatigue or insomnia
- Dental problems
- Illnesses or infections
- Bruises or burns on the skin
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Unexplained weight loss
- Emotional signs. Emotional trauma is harder to identify because there may not be any outward symptoms, and the emotional symptoms associated with abuse include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Lowered self-esteem
- New-onset aggressive or violent behavior
- Substance abuse
- Suicidal actions or thoughts
- Sexual abuse signs. Sexual abuse should never occur inside of a nursing home setting, but it does. Common signs to look out for in these situations include:
- Bruising or bleeding in the genital area
- Inappropriate contact with nursing home staff members
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Financial abuse signs. Often, nursing home employees or even other family members will take advantage of a resident’s assets. Some of the most common signs that financial abuse is occurring include:
- Changes to the power of attorney
- Opening new bank accounts or credit cards
- Strange withdrawals or charges on bank accounts or credit card statements
If you believe that your loved one has experienced abuse inside of a nursing home in North Carolina, reach out to a skilled attorney immediately. A nursing home abuse lawyer will have experience handling these situations and understand what it takes to investigate what happened and work to secure both justice and compensation on behalf of your loved one.
Call us today to speak with a Raleigh personal injury attorney.