Certain things that happen with the elder loved one will trigger an understanding that something might have gone wrong. Incidents that might trigger this kind of realization might be if the elder left the facility on their own, especially if they were supposed to be watched, if there was any type of problem with bedsores developing, dehydration, multiple falls whether while walking or by falling out of bed, any type of unexplained bruising or a change in the loved one's personality. Signs, Symptoms and changes along these lines should make a family member or friend think that something is just not right and that they should find out what is going on. If someone is concerned there might be a problem, then they should either do some more research or speak with a lawyer. The biggest issues we see in nursing homes are multiple falls, bedsore development and problems with dehydration or malnutrition, which is more on the neglect side.
The abuse side can actually be physical abuse, emotional abuse or sexual abuse although those are much more limited. There are far more incidents on the neglect side than the abuse side.
What Are Some Initial Signs That Someone Should Look Out For If They Suspect Abuse Or Negligence?
It would be a red flag if the loved one developed a big pressure sore or ulcer on the back of their leg or on their sacrum. The pressure sore may be down to the bone and there is the possibility that the area can get infected. It would also be a red flag if your loved one was supposed to be assisted to go from the bed to the bathroom, and you receive a phone call that your family member or friend was found on the floor, and was taken to the hospital with a broken hip. A loved one dying unexpectedly would also be a red flag. So these are the three initial signs that someone should suspect abuse or negligence: bedsores, falls and unexplained rapid demise or unexplained rapid going downhill resulting in death. This is not to say that people in nursing homes do not die, because people do die, but if they were fine one week and the next week something happened and they ended up quickly passing away, then a red flag would need to go up and the next of kin would probably need to talk to somebody about that.
Do Elderly People Not Report Abuse Because They Are Embarrassed?
This can really be a problem, because people want their dignity so a lot of times they will not tell anyone what happened, or they might not want to be a problem for their family, or they might just be fearful. The nursing home patient's or resident's bill of rights and dignity is one of the issues, because the resident should have the ability to make choices and be treated with dignity, they should be respected, they should be listened to and they should not be restrained unless there is a specific order by a doctor for either physical restraint or chemical restraint for a specific medical reason.
Would The Case Be Taken Seriously If The Loved One Was Elderly And Suffered From Alzheimer?
It might not. The biggest type of issue faced in Alzheimer's cases is that it really has to be an objective injury. If someone's loved one was in a facility to keep them safe and they ended up getting lost or going out and getting hit by a car or ending up in a field where they could not be found for a day or two and they became dehydrated, then in that case it would be clear cut. It would be the same with other types of nursing home cases too. Cases that involve a fall, in which the person ended up breaking their hip, if there were fall risks but the nursing home did not have the proper fall precautions in place, then those are objective types of issues that would not need somebody's testimony. They would not need the demented person's testimony for that, because the result of the situation would show for itself.
For more information on Signs Of Abuse Or Neglect, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get answers to your questions by calling Guy DiMartino Law at (219) 690-8997.