Nursing homes and care facilities are a huge benefit to our society. Unfortunately, abuse can happen within these establishments. Nursing home abuse is a common cause of personal injury cases and even wrongful death cases. The Nursing Home Abuse Center defines abuse as “The mistreatment of the elderly is defined as engaging in actions that intentionally harm or create a risk of some type of harm to an elderly person by a trusted individual or caregiver.” Because nursing home abuse isn’t talked about very much, it’s important to understand the types of nursing home abuse, as well as the common causes and signs, and what can be done about it.
What Are the Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, the most common types of abuse are physical, sexual, emotional, or financial. This abuse often happens in plain sight, and can often be overlooked.
Who Causes the Abuse?
The Nursing Home Abuse Center reports that abuse can be caused by a staff member at the facility, or even other residents living there. Caretakers who also abuse alcohol or drugs on a daily basis, or who have an emotional or mental illness, tend to be at a greater risk of being an abuser. Those who feel burdened by caring for an elderly person are also more likely to be abusers.
What are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
According to the Nursing Home Abuse Guide, common signs of nursing home abuse include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Bruising, cuts or welts
- Bed sores
- Frequent infections
- Signs of Dehydration
- Mood swings and emotional outbursts
- Reclusiveness or refusal to speak
- Refusal to eat or take medications
- Unexplained weight loss
- Poor physical appearance or lack of cleanliness
- Changes in mental status
- Caregivers that do not want the patient to be left alone with others
You and your family should stay on alert for these signs of abuse and report any suspicions to the care facility or speak with a personal injury attorney. Of course, these symptoms are not always evidence for abuse. If you are in doubt, it’s best to get the opinion of a medical professional before pressing charges.
What Can You Do?
Only about 1 out of every 14 cases of elder abuse ever reach authorities, according to the Nursing Home Abuse Center. But you can help change the statistics by sharing this information and contacting an experienced personal injury attorney if you suspect abuse. Fight for your rights and the rights of your loved ones. If you or a family member has been abused in New Mexico, the law entitles you and your family to compensation. Let’s work together to make justice happen. Contact Albuquerque’s trusted legal team at The Law Office of Brian K Branch by calling 505.764.9710 or contacting us online.
Law Office of Brian K Branch
715 Marquette Ave. NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
Toll Free: 888.972.1212