Nursing homes are becoming more and more crowded with the aging baby boomer generation and longer life expectancy. As nursing home gets more overcrowded, more caregivers are becoming stressed out and agitated at work. In the U.S., approximately 2.3 million of those in nursing are subject to abuse and neglect.
Among those who experience abuse in nursing homes, certain forms of abuse are common. If you have a loved one who has suffered one of the following types of abuse, you should call a nursing home malpractice lawyer.
Bedsores involve damaged skin caused by prolonged pressure on the skin, typically in areas like the tailbone ankles and heels, where bones stick out the most. In nursing homes, bedsores are a sign that a resident isn’t able to move when laying down and the nursing staff is giving no assistance to help from the bed.
Residents repeatedly falling in the nursing home can be a sign that the facilities are not being well kept. Falls can happen easily with a lack of maintance such as unmarked wet floors, poor lighting, lack of bedrails, and hazardous. Medical issues from prescriptions, dehydration, and malnutrition can also cause elderly residents to fall.
Poor nutrition from a lack of vitamins and nutrients, or not eating enough can cause malnutrition in anyone but is a common sign of abuse in nursing homes, where the elderly residents depend on the care of the staff to provide for them. Some residents may not have the strength or ability to feed themselves, and lack of assistance from the staff may be preventing them from eating regularly.
Bruises, broken bones, ligature marks, and cut are all symptoms of experiencing physical abuse from the staff in a nursing home. Poor background checks and supervision can lead to staff members becoming physically abusive to their residents. Residents can also suffer from physical abuse at the hands of other residents and staff may not be trained to look for symptoms.
Residents who suffer from mental abuse can start to become withdrawn, fearful, and feel helpless. Psychological abuse in elder care has less clear evidence than physical abuse and tends to go unnoticed and unreported. Emotional abuse that can happen range from threats, manipulation, and isolation and can be unintentional by stressed-out staff members.
Elopement and Wandering
Administrators must assess a resident’s physical and mental capabilities to be on their own within the nursing home. Some residents might not have the mental capacity to walk around on their own and can wander through the nursing home if not attended. In worst-case scenarios, resident’s who are not able to keep themselves out of harm’s way can leave the facilities into the outdoors, referred to as elopement in elderly care.