Moving an elderly parent or vulnerable loved one into a nursing home is never easy. Virginia families put an enormous amount of trust into assisted living centers. Sadly, these facilities do not always live up to their legal and ethical obligations. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that approximately one in ten senior citizens have endured elder abuse or neglect. Here, our Virginia Beach nursing home malpractice attorney highlights five signs that indicate nursing home abuse or neglect.
- Unexplained Illnesses or Injuries
As a licensed facility, a nursing home in Virginia has a legal duty to protect the health and well-being of vulnerable patients. One of the most common early warning signs of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect is unexplained illnesses or injuries. As an example, imagine that you discovered unexplained bruises on the legs of an elderly parent. How did that injury get there? It is important to follow up and make sure that your loved one is receiving proper care.
- Bedsores (Poor Hygiene)
Another common sign of nursing home abuse/neglect is poor hygiene—especially bed sores. Poor hygiene is preventable. One of the primary reasons why people move vulnerable family members into assisted living facilities is to get help with personal care. When a nursing home and its staff members are failing to provide adequate care, your loved one can suffer. The results can be dangerous. Not only are bed sores painful, but they can lead to serious infections.
- Dehydration or Malnutrition
When you visit a loved one in a nursing home, make sure that they are getting proper hydration and nutrition. Dehydration is often a sign of nursing home neglect. If they are losing weight or always reporting being thirsty, that is a very serious problem. A study published in the National Library of Medicine noted that many older and vulnerable residents of nursing homes do not regularly get enough fluids to support good health. It is the responsibility of assisted living center staff to ensure that all patients get adequate hydration and nutrition.
- Fear, Anxiety, Emotional Agitation, or Depression
Have you noticed that your loved one is suddenly acting more withdrawn, anxious, or agitated? If so, you need to follow up on the matter. It is frequently the sign of a deeper and more serious problem. Your loved one should never be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome in their nursing home. Emotional trauma should be taken as a warning sign that nursing home abuse or neglect may be occurring.
- Unexplained Financial Transactions
You should always watch out for any unexplained financial transactions on your loved one’s accounts. Financial exploitation is one of the most underappreciated types of nursing home abuse. According to data provided by the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys (NANHA), “one in nine seniors over the age of sixty reported financial exploitation in the last twelve months.” Nursing homes and nursing home employees must be held accountable for any financial misconduct.
Call Our Virginia Beach Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
At The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C., our Virginia nursing home abuse attorney is a compassionate and reliable representative for victims and their families. Serious injuries are our business. If your loved one suffered harm due to abuse or neglect in an assisted living facility, we are here to help. Contact us now for a free, completely confidential initial consultation. From our Virginia Beach office location, we represent nursing home abuse & neglect victims throughout Hampton Roads, including in Hampton, Newport News, and Suffolk.