Lake County Indiana Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect & Negligence Attorney
Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or care facility is almost never an easy one to make. And when we make that choice, we are placing an incredible amount of trust in the facilities in question. We expect that our loved ones will be carefully taken care of, and that they will be safe during their stay. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Elder abuse, negligence, and neglect are increasing problems that face many residents in nursing homes.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Serving Northwest Indiana
If your loved one has experienced abuse, negligence, or neglect at the hands of a nursing home, it is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney at Semko Law Office. We can help ensure that your loved one receives the proper compensation and is properly cared for after such a harrowing time while also working to ensure that the facility (and individuals) in question is properly disciplined.
Types of Abuse
Unfortunately, individuals in nursing homes might experience abuse in a number of different ways.
Signs of Physical Abuse
If you are concerned that a loved one has been experiencing abuse in their nursing home, there are a few different signs to look for. The first, of course, is physical injury. Is the patient injured in any way? One common sign is that of bruising. If your loved one has more than one bruise and they are the same size and shape, they might be the victim of physical abuse. The bruises could be from someone’s hand striking them or even from repeated strikes from a belt or electrical cord.
Another sign to watch for is any kind of burn whatsoever. Patients in a nursing home should not be burned. Their environments should be free from all burn risks, and that includes food or liquid that is hot enough to physically harm the patient in question. Finally, pay attention either skittish behavior a lack of response to pain. Patients who are exposed to physical abuse might prone to flinching, for example, or they might simply stop reacting to pain altogether.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Patients who have been emotionally abused might manifest a variety of different symptoms. If your loved one appears withdrawn or passive, and that is out of the ordinary for them, then you might want to keep an eye on them. They could be scared of their caretakers. If you see any caretakers or employees in a nursing home yelling or threatening a patient, you should be extremely concerned for your loved one. If the caretakers are willing to do these things to one patient, they are probably willing to do them to all patients.
If your loved one has been isolated from other patients or other caretakers, that might be cause for concern. This is not an allowable practice in most nursing homes. While an exception might be made if a patient is known to be hostile, in the vast majority of cases physical isolation can be an indication of abuse. Finally, if your loved one – or other patients – appear scared and cowering, they might have already suffered abuse and are fearful that they will experience more.
Signs of Neglect
It is important to keep in mind that physical and emotional abuse are not the only ways that a patient can be harmed. Neglecting a patient is also a form of abuse. If your loved one either gains or loses a significant amount of weight, there should be a medical reason behind it. If there isn’t, then it might be cause for concern. The same can be said of poor physical hygiene and poor dental health. Unless otherwise specified, caretakers should be ensuring that patients are clean and that their oral health is taken care of.
Pressure sores are another sign of likely abuse, particularly if they don’t heal. These sores are almost always both curable and avoidable, and seeing evidence of them on your loved one from visit to visit could indicate that their caretakers are not taking care to make sure they are moved around properly. Finally, keep an eye on your loved one’s clothing. Dirty or torn clothing is sign for alarm.
If your loved one has been neglected, abused, or the victim of negligence in a nursing home, reach out to Semko Law Office today for help!