Nursing Home Abuse

Putting a loved one in a nursing home, or assisted living facility, is never an easy decision. It can be heart-wrenching to entrust their well-being to others, even if they are professionals. Because when professional caretakers drop the ball on their responsibilities, that abuse or neglect has the potential to seriously harm your elderly loved one.

Nursing home abuse can include the physical and emotional neglect of an elderly person. While sometimes these violations can happen unintentionally, it’s important to hold an individual accountable for the harm they cause another regardless. When the abuse is intentional, it's even more important to bring those individuals to justice.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

As previously mentioned, the term “abuse” incorporates more than just physical harm that you can see evidence of, which is why it can be so confusing and difficult to navigate a nursing home abuse claim on your own. Not only can it be difficult to define, but it can be equally difficult to prove. See the main forms of abuse, and some examples of them, that have grounds for legal recourse, below.

Physical

This includes the failure of a caretaker to tend to the elderly person’s physical needs and safety. For example:

  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Disregard for their personal hygiene
  • Lack of proper medical care/medicinal management
  • Sexual abuse

Emotional or Psychological

This includes any neglect of or the deliberate worsening of the elderly person’s mental, emotional, or psychological state. For example:

  • Verbal harassment, humiliation, or intimidation
  • Isolation from others, friends, and family
  • Disregard for their personal wishes
  • Manipulation or coercion for financial gain (i.e. pressuring an elderly person to be included in their will or trust)

If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, it is crucial that you speak up on their behalf and consult with experienced legal counsel. You can stop the abuse by taking action, which can also help to prevent the same harm from happening to others.

IF YOU SUSPECT
NURSING HOME ABUSE

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Signs of Abuse

Depending on the type of neglect or abuse a person experiences in a nursing home, the signs may or may not be obviously noticeable. Unfortunately, this type of crime is easily concealed — by the facility and/or its staff, and the victims may be too scared or physically incapable of communicating the abuse themselves. One of the most common tell-tale signs of abuse is an unusual or sudden change in behavior.

Since you know your loved one best, it’s important to keep an eye out for warning signs of abuse and report them as soon as possible. Some common signs of physical or emotional abuse include:

  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Frequent illness
  • Bruises, broken bones, and other physical injuries (i.e. bed sores)
  • General changes in mood or activity level (for instance, going from being an active social butterfly to an anxious recluse)
  • Reluctance to speak in front of caretakers
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • A constant state of confusion, disorientation, or sedation
  • Unexplained changes to financial matters

Despite the amount of time and research spent to find the best nursing home solution for your loved one, abuse and neglect are not always preventable. But when you notice a red flag and suspect that your elderly loved one is being mistreated, don’t wait to seek help. No one deserves to be a victim of abuse, and perpetrators should be held accountable to prevent future harm to others. Work with experienced attorneys to find out if you have a claim for compensation.

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma

At the Law Office of Jeff Martin & Associates, our team of experienced attorneys is passionate about helping people fight injustices across the state of Oklahoma. Perpetrators of nursing home abuse should absolutely be held responsible for any harm they inflict on your loved one, and we can help you understand your legal options. Call our firm to learn more.