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What Signs of Nursing Home Neglect Should You Be Looking Out For?

Nursing homes are trusted with the care of our parents and other beloved family members, but a significant number of nursing home abuse cases go unreported. We all want the best for our loved ones, but sometimes it can be hard to know what is happening when you're not around. That is why the nursing home abuse attorneys at Davis Law Group want to share these tips for spotting nursing home abuse.

Physical Signs of Abuse

When checking on an elderly relative, it's important to take note of any signs they may be suffering from any degree of physical abuse or neglect that could be causing them harm. Simple things like bruises, welts scars or even more significant injuries like broken bones and dislocations all leave physical marks, and should have an explanation. 

If there are marks on specific areas such as the wrists this could be evidence of restraints being used potentially unnecessarily or improperly. 

Finally making sure any medical treatment or medication that they should be receiving is being delivered regularly and that they have all of the supplies like foot ware or eye glasses to keep themselves safe from unnecessary harm. 

Sexual Abuse

The reality of having to interrogate any signs of sexual abuse in our elderly family members is a dark and weighty one to grapple with, but the reality is checking for a few simple things could prevent any potential abuse from continuing unnoticed. 

Simple things like unexplained infections or STD's, damaged or bloody garments, bruising around sensitive areas could all be result of sexual abuse within a nursing home and any signs of them should be taken seriously. 

These signs should be taken even more seriously with our most vulnerable relatives who may have difficulty communicating and may not be able to tell us directly. 

General Red Flags

Outside of specific indications of harm to the individual, red flags within the nursing home and the staff can be spotted which could be indicators of serious problems including neglect, financial exploitation, and healthcare fraud. 

Nursing homes and care facilities are required to provide safe living conditions for their residents, things like tripping hazards, fire hazards, lack of heat or water or unmaintained facilities in general could be neglect in and of themselves if not simply indicators of other potential unsafe practices. 

If your loved one does not appear to be appropriately clothed for the season, seems to be in soiled clothing, or even just generally under cared for hygienically they may not be receiving baths or other crucial care to keep them healthy and comfortable. 

Bedsores are another dangerous indicator of malpractice within a nursing home resulting from a patient not being regularly turned or seen to and can become serious if untreated. 

Not allowing you to see your family member unsupervised is another red flag that could indicate that there may be things that are being hidden or that they would not like discussed. 

Finally if you notice changes in the financial situation of your family member including anything from single unexplained transactions to changes in insurance, titles, wills or even power of attorney, these could be indicators of grievous financial abuse which can not only be devastating for the care of a loved one, but harm their family for years and years to come. 

What should you do if you spot a sign? 

If you have found an indication of some form of elder abuse or another, there are several important things that need to be considered before committing to one course of action or another, that's why the nursing home abuse attorneys at Davis Law Group offer free case evaluations and can help you decide if you need to report abuse.

A nursing home abuse case can take years and requires a through investigation into the nursing home, its track record and could even reveal additional abuse cases to other residents in the process. Thankfully for you, nursing homes are regularly inspected and reviewed and required to take measures and document them when caring for residents, these records or lack of them, could be vital for your claim. 

If you believe a loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse, call Davis Law Group 24/7 at 206-727-4000 or use the chat or contact options on this page to request a free case evaluation today. 


Chris Davis
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Chris Davis is the founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.