When your spouse, parent or beloved family member becomes disabled or requires significant assistance with day-to-day self-care, you may have to make the difficult decision to place them in a nursing home. While these long-term care facilities often provide invaluable service to those in need of extra care, there are times in which the care providers cause more harm than help.
According to the National Institute on Aging, one in 10 adults over 60 years of age experience some form of abuse, neglect or exploitation. This includes physical, emotional or sexual abuse, physical or emotional neglect and financial exploitation.
Signs of abuse you should know
Elders with disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are particularly at risk for abuse or neglect. When you go to visit your loved one in their nursing care facility, there are certain signs of maltreatment you should keep watch for. While not an exhaustive list, some examples include:
- A dirty or disheveled appearance
- Difficulty sleeping
- A loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained bruises, cuts or other injuries
- Sudden and surprising mood or behavior changes
- Damaged or missing personal belongings
- Eviction notices or statements of missed bill payments
- Unsafe, dirty or dangerous living conditions
It is distressing and tragic to learn that someone you love is being harmed, ignored or taken advantage of. No amount of money can repair the damage done in these instances. Still, seeking compensation for needed medical treatment and emotional damages through an elder abuse lawsuit can go a long way to help your loved one begin to heal. It can also motivate the facility to take seriously its responsibility for providing high-quality, compassionate care.