What to Do When You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse happens more than you probably realize. It is difficult to predict exactly how many instances of elder abuse occur in North Carolina nursing homes every year, because most cases are never reported. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates about one in ten nursing home residents become victims of abuse. To protect your loved ones, it is important to be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect and take action when necessary.
Recognize the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse.
The five types of abuse most likely to occur in a nursing home are: physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse.
- Physical abuse of nursing home residents happens at the hands of other residents as often as it comes from cruel caretakers. Unexplained injuries, pain, restraint marks, or sudden onset of a mental or physical impairment may indicate physical abuse.
- Neglect is the most common form of nursing home abuse. The signs include unclean living conditions, bed sores, dehydration/malnutrition, and unwashed appearance. Residents may also fall and injure themselves if left alone for too long.
- Emotional abuse includes yelling, intimidation, humiliation, and social isolation. A victim of emotional abuse may show abrupt personality changes, signs of depression, angry outbursts, and/or social withdrawal.
- Sexual abuse should be suspected if the individual develops genital rashes, bleeding, or symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Financial abuse, the exploitation of an individual’s resources, may be happening if you notice unpaid bills, missing valuables, suspicious charges on credit and bank accounts, changes to a will, or signs of identity theft.
Call a North Carolina Elder Abuse Lawyer.
If a loved one was killed or injured in an abusive or neglectful nursing home environment, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages you have suffered. It is important to reach out to an experienced elder abuse lawyer as soon as possible. A qualified attorney will be able to advise you on a course of action and the strength of your claim. Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury or medical malpractice claims. In North Carolina, a lawsuit must be filed within three years of the last instance of abuse. Filing a lawsuit and building a case takes time, so do not delay.
Contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at McAllister, Aldridge & Kreinbrink, PLLC today to request a free initial consultation.