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The Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

As nursing home injury lawyers, Padberg Corrigan & Appelbaum has become increasing involved in litigation regarding a disturbing trend: physical injury, death or abuse to loved ones while in the care of resident care facilities.

Roughly 1.6 million elderly people live in nursing homes in the United States and that number is expected to grow to over 5 million in the next thirty years.  Government figures reveal that one out of four nursing homes are cited for causing death or serious injury to a resident every year.

The types of elder and nursing home abuse and neglect are wide ranging and can result from negligent inattention to intentional physical and verbal abuse.

Following are a number of warning signs to look for in assessing whether your loved one may be subjected to abuse or neglect in their nursing home.

  • Bed Sores – pressure sores or decubitus ulcers

We have written an entire blog on this very serious condition. Bed sores are a classic sign of elder abuse. Immobile patients and less mobile patients are at high risk of developing bed sores if nurses and other caregivers are not diligent in their duties.

  • Malnutrition/Dehydration

Sudden weight loss, or if your loved one looks thinner, is cause for concern. With very rare exceptions, a dehydrated resident is a clear example of nursing home neglect.

  • Personal Hygiene or Unclear Conditions

This is often a sign of staff cutbacks and/or an indication of neglect of the people within the nursing home’s care.

  • Persistent Infections

Infections will occur, but persistent infections in a particular nursing home may indicate a problem.

  • Unexplained injuries, falls or death

Your nursing home should be consciously aware of any and all circumstances of how these most serious of events have occurred.

  • Heavy medication or sedation without cause

This is an obvious red flag when a loved one is heavily sedated without adequate explaination.

  • Reluctance to speak in the presence of staff or sudden changes in behavior

Just like abuse in general, the victim may display behavioral changes that provide indications of a deeper problem.

The Padberg Corrigan & Appelbaum Law Firm handles the following types of cases involving nursing homes, among others:

Nursing home injuries and death cases, negligent hiring, improper staffing, mistakes made with medicines and prescriptions, patient assaults, patient neglect, decubitus ulcers, malnutrition or dehydration, inattention or disappearance.

Feel free to contact us for a no cost initial consultation to determine if your loved one is being properly cared for.

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