What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?

Cases of nursing home abuse in Sacramento area and other cities across North America are rare, but unfortunately, they do happen. Luckily, the majority of nursing and retirement homes treat patients with the care, respect and dignity they deserve. The elderly are among the most important groups in our society. They have a wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom to give younger generations. If your loved one is in a nursing home, it’s important to spot signs of abuse and/or neglect so you can take immediate action. There are several different types of abuse and being aware of the signs will ensure you can protect your loved one from potential harm.

Physical
* Bed sores
* Unexplained sprains, broken bones or bruises
* Over or under sedating the patient

Emotional
* Intimidation through threats or yelling
* Ridicule and humiliation
* Instilling fear in the patient

Psychological
* Neglecting the patient; not attending to their needs
* Leaving them in bed for a prolonged period of time
* Not administering their medication on time or at all
* Isolating patients from family or friends

Financial
* Misuse of a patient’s credit card, bank account or cash
* Identity theft
* Forging the patient’s signature
* Stealing cash or valuables

Keep in regular contact with the staff at the nursing home and if you do suspect any wrongdoings, contact them immediately. If you fear for your loved one’s safety, call 911. Also, it’s important to document your findings via notes, video, and photos. Physiological and emotional abuse are harder to prove, but documenting everything will help. Talk to an elder abuse lawyer about your loved one’s rights and the nursing home’s responsibilities. They may take the matter to trial and you or your loved one may be entitled to compensation. Your loved one’s safety should be the home’s number one priority; if it isn’t, then it’s time to find another home.

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