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How to Recognize Subtle Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Posted on in Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

Rockford nursing home injury attorneysIt is hard to believe that anyone could be so cruel as to abuse a sick or elderly person in a nursing home, but it does happen. Research shows that about one out of every ten U.S. adults over age 60 have experienced elder abuse. Nursing home abuse, as well as nursing home neglect, is tragically common in the United States. Many nursing home residents suffer from mental and physical illnesses that make it difficult to express when they are being mistreated or abused. Some residents may even keep abuse a secret because they are afraid that they will be retaliated against for reporting the abuse. If you have a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, be vigilant for signs that they are being abused.

Physical Signs of Abuse

Sometimes, telling the difference between an injury caused by accident and an injury caused by a nursing home staff member can be difficult. Signs of physical abuse can include bruises, cuts, scrapes, pressure marks, broken bones, dislocations, burns, and more. When nursing home staff cannot explain why a resident has an injury such as these, this is a red flag that something is not right.

Tragically, nursing home residents can also suffer from sexual abuse. An individual who has been sexually abused by have problems walking or sitting, develop a sexually transmitted infection, have bruising on the genitals or thighs, urinary tract infections, and pain. Recently, a horrific incidence of nursing home sexual abuse made headlines after a woman in a vegetative state gave birth to a child.  A nurse working at the facility has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting the woman and causing her to become pregnant.

Behavioral Signs of Abuse

Even if a nursing home resident cannot verbally express that he or she is being abused, there may be signs in their behavior. Residents who have suffered abuse may experience major changes in behavior or become agitated, or afraid.  They may refuse to be left alone with staff or particular staff members. Another common indicator of abuse is repetitive, self-soothing behaviors like rocking back and forth, thumb-sucking, and talking to oneself. Although these behaviors can sometimes be caused by an illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it is still important to thoroughly investigate major behavioral changes in a nursing home resident.

Contact a Rockford Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If you suspect that your loved one has suffered abuse from a nursing home staff member, contact an experienced, compassionate Winnebago County personal injury attorney from Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS, to explore your legal options. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-215-7561.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-action/elder-justice/elder-abuse-facts/

https://abcnews.go.com/US/arizona-governor-calls-stronger-protections-incapacitated-womans-pregnancy/story?id=60903997

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