Because nursing homes are profit-driven businesses, they can occasionally suffer from corner cutting, unreasonable quotas, and short-sighted efforts during tough economic times. When a nursing home does face such troubles, they are sometimes kept unannounced and swept under the rug, with some businesses even going as far as covering the issues with untruths.

As a result, employees are affected with cuts in wages and unreasonable hours, impacting their attitudes, which can lead to neglect, mistreatment, and abuse inside nursing homes.

Why Abuse Happens Inside Nursing Homes

Unfortunately, the elderly are one of the most vulnerable members of our society — yet they are also the least likely to complain. As a result, they often become targets of abuse, especially in the hands of strangers. While you want to ensure that your elderly loved ones are securely and comfortably relocated to a nursing home, your responsibility to them doesn’t end there.

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Even if they seem safe, you will still need to keep a watchful eye; in a recent investigation, it was confirmed that background checks don’t always keep seniors in nursing homes safe from mistreatment. For example, while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) don’t hire people with a history of committing abuse in a nursing home, they might still hire those convicted of other forms of abuse like child abuse.

Even more concerning is that while some states require a background check, others do not. Furthermore, these checks won’t usually cover convictions from another state. In some states, non-caregiving staff who don’t have a direct patient-care role, such as maintenance workers, don’t undergo background checks despite having access to patients and their spaces.

How to Recognize Elderly Abuse 

The best way to prevent and stop abuse against the elderly is by knowing the red flags that may indicate neglect or abuse. This can happen in various frequencies and intensities, from mild to extreme, and will differ in forms, including assault, rape, and battery. Some red flags that can indicate if your loved one is being physically abused includes:

  • Open wounds, cuts, or bedsores
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • Abrasions and burns
  • Sudden change in weight
  • Hair loss
  • Poor hygiene, odor of urine or feces, or soiling
  • Ligature marks around the mouth, throat, wrists or ankles
  • Serious infections
  • Stained, torn, or bloody bedding or clothing
  • The overall cleanliness of their living quarters

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Emotional abuse is much more difficult to discern and can be even harder for both the elderly and their family to deal with. Forms of emotional abuse within nursing homes can include humiliation, insults, and threats to the patient. Here are a few signs that may give away occurrences of emotional abuse:

  • Immature and other strange behavior
  • Unresponsiveness and listlessness
  • Emotional or physical withdrawal
  • Unwillingness to talk
  • Depression

Another kind of abuse common to senior citizens that patients in nursing homes suffer from is financial exploitation. Some of the red flags that may indicate this includes:

  • Unusual financial transactions
  • Unusual online orders or subscriptions
  • Disappearance of personal items
  • Checks named under staff members

How Gallon Law Can Help With Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and not all long-term care facilities treat every senior citizen with the care and respect they deserve. The elderly who fall victim to abuse inside nursing homes will carry the emotional and physical scars with them for the rest of their lives.

However, you can take the first step towards giving them their lives back by working with a skilled and experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. If you’re planning to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit, get in touch with us.

At Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault Co., LPA, we work hard to help your loved ones get the justice and care they deserve. Contact us today.