Nursing Home Abuse: What to Look For
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, up to 10% of all residents of nursing homes or assisted care facilities have been abused in some form in the last year. This means around 150,000 senior citizens have fallen victim to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, and are in need of a nursing home abuse lawyer. Others have been neglected, abandoned, exploited financially, or have had healthcare fraud perpetrated on them.
If you have a family member, friend, or loved one in a nursing home, you can be on the lookout for the signs of abuse and contact the authorities if you suspect something. Here are some warning signs:
- Physical abuse: injuries or conditions that appear suddenly and have no adequate explanation (i.e., fractured or broken bones, sprains, bruises, burns).
- Emotional abuse: unexplained changes in usual behavior, social withdrawal, caregiver-imposed isolation, a caregiver who is uncaring or verbally abusive.
- Sexual abuse: an unexplained STD, sexual trauma (especially around the genitals).
- Neglect or abandonment: medication not being given, poor personal hygiene, lack of food, soiled living space and/or clothing and bedding, bedsores, lack of utilities (heat, water, or electricity) in living space.
- Financial exploitation: bills not being paid, unexpected financial gifts (especially to non-family persons), sudden control of finances by caregiver, unknown financial transactions.
- Healthcare fraud: medical treatment or equipment that is unnecessary or unexpected and not explained adequately by the caregiver, excessive testing, bills for services or treatment that was never provided.
If you suspect nursing home abuse is taking place, first contact the authorities (911 or the local police); Adult Protective Services is also a good call to make. You may want to retain a nursing home lawyer at this time.
If you need a nursing home lawyer, contact our experienced attorneys at Steinberg Law Firm at 843-720-2800 for a free consultation. We represent injured persons in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties.