Nursing home patients can sustain a variety of injuries. For example, some nursing home injuries could be due to falls. Elderly patients are at a high risk of falls because of their physical condition and the medications they might be taking. However, some injuries in nursing homes are caused by abuse and neglect.
How can you spot the difference between nursing home injuries caused by abuse and those that are purely accidents? It can be difficult. The first step is being able to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Elderly and vulnerable patients in nursing homes are often unable to speak for themselves. Others may be frightened that if they speak up, they could be treated worse and hurt again.
Therefore, it is up to family members and others visiting the nursing home to watch for signs of abuse or neglect.
Some common signs of elder abuse include:
- Multiple instances of fractures and broken bones
- Poor personal hygiene, including wearing dirty clothes and soiled adult diapers
- Fear of being alone with staff members
- Withdrawal and depression
- Bedsores, lacerations, and bruises
- Repeated infections, including sexually transmitted diseases
- Unexplained weight loss
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Brain injuries
- Scars or burns
There are many other signs of elder abuse in nursing homes. The NCEA and the National Institute on Aging have additional information about elder abuse.
Researching the signs of nursing home neglect and abuse so that you can watch for those signs is one way to help protect your family member from abuse.
Are Nursing Home Injuries Always the Result of Abuse?
No, nursing home injuries can also be the result of neglect or negligence. For example, elderly patients are at high risk for falls. Therefore, most patients should not try to stand and walk without assistance unless a doctor states they are not a fall risk. The nursing home should have a fall prevention policy and require all staff members to follow that policy. There should be non-slip mats and other fall prevention measures taken in all areas of the home to prevent falls.
A patient could suffer from malnutrition or dehydration because the nursing home is understaffed. There are not enough staff members to sit with patients during meals to ensure they eat and drink enough.
There does not need to be abuse in the nursing home for the nursing home to be held liable for nursing home injuries. The facility and staff members can be held liable for damages caused by negligence and neglect, as well as elder abuse.
Contact Our New Orleans Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If your loved one has sustained nursing home injuries, we want to help. Attorney Fred Olinde and the other lawyers at The Olinde Firm have substantial experience investigating nursing home injury cases. Let us help you determine whether your loved one is being abused or is the victim of negligence or neglect.
Contact our law firm today by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule your free consultation with a New Orleans nursing home abuse lawyer.