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No one wants to see a loved one deteriorate physically or mentally to the point that they must move to a nursing home or an assisted living home, especially with the many allegations coming out of these facilities each year regarding nursing home abuse/neglect. The truth is, many families are ill-equipped to care for loved ones at home when they begin to require nursing care around the clock or they need constant supervision—and this leaves family stuck between a rock and a hard place. Abuse and neglect are real, and it oftentimes goes unreported. Abuse and neglect can range from malnourishment to being left sitting or lying in one position too long to being left in soiled diapers for extended periods of time. It can also be mental abuse—such as yelling at or belittling the patient, or violent, such as hitting the patient, pulling the patient’s hair, or pinching them. If you suspect (or even if you know) that your loved one has suffered harm at the hands of nursing home staff, reporting the abuse or neglect is your first move. Then, you need to contact our Auburn nursing home abuse/neglect attorney.

Prevalence of Abuse/Neglect

Up to 93 percent of nursing home residents in one survey say that they experienced abuse or neglect themselves or witnessed abuse of their counterparts in the nursing home. Around 44 percent reported that the abuse was targeted at them. Despite this, only around 10 percent of nursing homes are found to be in violation of requirements of care by the state. The underreporting of abuse and neglect is massive. The elderly are naturally prone to be targeted for abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. They are oftentimes weak, sick and frail, making them unlikely to speak up. They often fear that the staff may seek retribution or may feel that if they report abuse or neglect, they’ll make their situations worse or have no one to help them with their needs. Nursing home residents may also not remember being abused, since many suffer from dementia or even Alzheimer’s.

Signs of Abuse

Because some nursing home patients may not be able to speak up for themselves, family members should visit often and watch for the signs of abuse:

  • Apprehension of the home’s staff
  • Bed sores
  • Depression
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Unexplained bruises, scrapes and cuts
  • Withdrawal

Nursing homes operate for one sole purpose: profit. This drive to make the most money possible often translates to low pay for staff, and understaffed homes. Although it’s no excuse for abuse, it is a factor that contributes to it, when staff are overworked and underpaid, have too many patients to care for each day, are ill-trained, or even have sketchy criminal backgrounds. When caregivers are remiss in their duties or neglect or abuse patients they are charged with caring for, they can be held accountable, both civilly and criminally.

Call Russell and Hill as soon as possible if you suspect your loved one has been abused or neglected. Our Auburn nursing home abuse/neglect attorney will fight for your loved one’s rights and hold the abuser accountable for their actions. Schedule your free case review now.

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