When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you trust that they will be provided with sufficient care and treated with dignity and respect. Tragically, for thousands of nursing home residents, mistreatment in the form of abuse and neglect is a daily reality. In fact, a study conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) found that at least ten percent of the elderly population faces abuse or neglect at their nursing homes every year, mistreatment that often results in serious injury or even death.
If you suspect a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact the Law Offices of Van Dorn & Curtiss online or by calling (866) 933-6115 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Vermont personal injury attorneys.
Recognizing Abuse and Neglect
The NCEA reports that one in ten senior citizens faces some form of nursing home abuse and neglect every year. However, NCEA data includes only those instances of mistreatment that are reported and, according to the organization, their numbers may not be representative of the breadth of this issue.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, knowing how to identify signs of mistreatment is essential for ensuring their long-term health and happiness. If you suspect any type of elder abuse, contacting one of our experienced New Hampshire nursing home abuse attorneys as soon as possible can help put a stop to the mistreatment and help your family get the justice you deserve.
Signs of physical and sexual abuse in a nursing home may include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Bruises around nipples or hips
- Genital or anal bleeding
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Signs of nursing home neglect may include:
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Over or under medication
- Poor hygiene
- Generally unsanitary conditions such as soiled clothing or bedding
Emotional abuse is also tragically common in nursing homes in Vermont and New Hampshire and may produce behavioral changes in your loved one such as:
- Visible fear around staff
- A withdrawal from the nursing home community
- Adopting strange behaviors such as rocking or nail biting
- Severe depression
- Unusual levels of anger or aggression
Many of these things can also accompany physical and sexual abuse as well, making changes in behavior one of the surest signs that something is amiss with your loved one. If you notice any changes in the behavior of an elderly relative who is in a care facility, call (866) 933-6115 to learn how our attorneys can help.
Helping Prevent Abuse and Neglect
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services maintains a database of nursing homes ranked according to a number of quality measures. When you are selecting a care facility, use the Medicaid nursing home ranking database to find one in your area that meets all of your qualifications. Once a few homes have been identified, visit them all before committing to place your family member in one. Talk to staff and management, stay for a meal, and observe the living conditions, physical appearance, and emotional behaviors of its residents. Do not place your loved one in a home if you have even the slightest suspicion that it is ill-equipped to provide him or her with the care they truly deserve.
Once you have selected a home and your loved one is established there, one of the best ways to reduce their risks for mistreatment is to make frequent and unannounced visits to the facility. Not only will these visits bring joy to your family member, they allow you to check up on daily care, staff interactions, and the general environment in which your loved one lives. During these visits, listen to any concerns or complaints that may arise and speak to trusted staff members if you suspect mistreatment. If you do not know or trust any of the staff members and you suspect your loved one is suffering abuse or neglect, we are here to investigate the situation and help protect your family member from further indignities.
The New Hampshire nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at our firm have decades of combined experience helping families get justice following the mistreatment of a loved one. We will investigate your case quickly to identify all liable parties and take swift and decisive action to help ensure your loved one is protected and justice is served.
Do you need an experienced nursing home abuse attorney in New Hampshire or Vermont? Please contact the Law Offices of Van Dorn & Curtiss on the Web or by phone at (866) 933-6115 today.