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What do I do if I suspect nursing home abuse?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2022 | Nursing Home Abuse

The thought of someone abusing one of our elderly family members is horrific. Unfortunately, stories of nursing home abuse or neglect are not uncommon. If you have a loved one in a nursing home and start seeing signs that make you suspect abuse or neglect, you may not know where to turn or what to do.

Be on the lookout for these signs

There are both physical and non-physical signs that your loved one may be a victim of abuse or neglect. Physical signs include a sudden weight loss, unsanitary conditions at the nursing home, bed sores, ulcers, unusual bruising or an unexplained injury. Non-physical signs include your loved one becoming withdrawn or not being able to give a proper explanation for any bruises or marks.

If you start suspecting neglect or abuse, try to visit your loved one as often as possible and speak with them and the staff. Listen carefully to anything your loved one says about how they are doing and note if they act differently around certain staff members. Talk to the families of other residents and see if they have any concerns.

Install a camera in their room if possible. Many instances of nursing home abuse and neglect are proven by camera evidence. If your concerns are valid, you may file a report with the New York State Department of Health.

Abuse and neglect are forms of negligence

Nursing homes could be found liable for negligence if abuse or neglect is proven. Negligence can be proven by showing that the nursing home is understaffed or don’t provide their staff with enough training, resulting in negligent or abusive treatment of patients. A lack of cameras could be viewed as negligent behavior.

A dangerous physical environment can also establish negligence. A nursing home should provide a physically safe environment for seniors and be properly maintained. Establishing negligence on a part of a nursing home could result in compensation for physical and mental damages.