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3 Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & What You Can Do About It

November 23, 2021

: Personal Injury

Placing an elderly loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision for many families, but knowing that they’ll be adequately cared for can help make the process easier. And in most cases, every person within a nursing home does receive the care they need on a day-to-day basis.

Unfortunately, some facilities fall short and nursing home abuse in Columbia, SC does happen — and when it happens to one of your loved ones it can be especially devastating. That’s why, in order to make sure they’re safe and taken care of, it’s important to know what to look out for. Below, we’ll discuss three signs of nursing home abuse, as well as what you can do about it here in Columbia, SC.

3 Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

While most nursing home abuse cases are obvious, there are some that can go unnoticed without proper attention. And when identifying and reporting these issues can often be the difference between life and death for elderly individuals, it’s important to spot them early on. Here are three of the most common signs to watch for:

1. Malnutrition/Dehydration

Malnutrition and dehydration are some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse. Your loved one may be suffering from malnutrition and/or dehydration if you notice any of the following indicators:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Dry mouth and/or cracked lips
  • Swollen tongue
  • Reduced urination
  • Overall sense of weakness

Some of these indicators may be a result of your loved one’s normal aging conditions. However, if any of them occur without reasonable explanation, it’s important to figure out the cause. 

2. Unexplained Injuries

If you find any signs of injury on your loved one’s body that don’t have an explanation, they could be a result of nursing home abuse. In the most extreme cases, unexplained broken bones and dislocations could occur from rough handling during transfers, medicine administration, or repositioning. However, it’s also important to look out for small bruises, scrapes, and scratches, as they could also be one of your first indications that something is wrong. 

3. Withdrawn or Agitated Demeanor

In cases of nursing home abuse, some individuals will become withdrawn, lack interest in their favorite activities, or refuse to talk due to poor mental stimulation or fear of retaliation. It’s also possible that they become agitated, fearful, or anxious from experiencing emotional abuse and being ignored when they ask for help. If you notice that your loved one’s demeanor has suddenly changed without reasonable explanation, it’s important that you determine the root cause.

What You Can Do About It in Columbia, SC

If you believe that your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, it’s important to speak up. Communicating your concerns with authorities can start the healing process and help you and your loved one get justice for their mistreatment. There are a few different steps you can take. 

First and foremost, if you believe your loved one’s abuse is an immediate, life-threatening emergency, you should always call 911

If you’re unsure whether your loved one’s injuries, behavior, or condition stems from nursing home abuse, you can contact your state’s branch of Long-Term Care Ombudsman or Adult Protective Services. Representatives from these agencies can do welfare checks to see if your loved one is receiving the safe, kind care they need. 

Get Help From a Columbia SC Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

After you report the case of abuse to proper authorities, it may be in your best interest to get help from a Columbia nursing home abuse lawyer. They’ll help you better understand how your loved one’s rights have been affected by their case. 

There are various federal and state laws regarding nursing home abuse that ensure your loved one has the right to a safe living space, the right to participate in decisions regarding their care, and the right to file a lawsuit if they are mistreated. A Columbia nursing home abuse lawyer can help navigate through those and help you get the justice and compensation your loved one deserves. 

If you suspect that someone you love is being abused or neglected in a nursing home or senior care facility, contact Bernstein & Berstein right away. We won’t stand for elder abuse. We can help you resolve the situation with legal means.

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