When you decide it is time for your elderly loved one to move into a nursing home, you hope their transition will get them the help and assistance they need so they can remain as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, cases of nursing home neglect and abuse are becoming a real issue all around the country. According to a number of researchers, the majority of nursing home neglect and abuse cases remain unreported. In reference to a study done by the Government Reform Committee’s Special Investigations Division, signs of abuse and violations were discovered in almost 30 percent of nursing homes around the U.S.
One of the reasons many of these cases are left unreported are because certain medical limitations result in the elderly residents having issues vocalizing the abuse that takes place. Additionally, many residents don’t get frequent visits from loved ones, which makes it difficult to notice if a change in appearance or behavior occurs.
Common Types of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
The most common types of nursing home abuse include inadequate medical services, falls, bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, inadequate hygiene or sanitation and preventable accidents. However, these are far from all the issues that can arise.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
The absolute best way for family members to prevent nursing home abuse is to visit the elderly person often and pay attention to warning signs that neglect or abuse may be going on. If you suspect that neglect or abuse is going on, you have a few options for handling it:
- Contact the person’s doctor, social worker or a member of their health care tea. These professionals should be able to provide guidance regarding what you should do next.
- Visit the Department of Health and Human Services National Center on Elder Abuse resource page.
- Call 911 if the case of abuse or neglect is severe.
Seeking Legal Counsel
After you have reported the neglect or abuse to the authorities, it is a good idea to seek legal counsel. This will help you figure out what needs to be done next. At Bautista LeRoy Trial Attorneys, you will have a team of knowledgeable, capable attorneys handling the situation who understand nursing home neglect and abuse cases. They can help you figure out what to do, who to call and pursue legal action against the parties who have perpetrated the abuse or neglect.