If you've had to place your loved one into a nursing home or long term care facility, their care and well being is likely your number one concern. Making sure that they are in a safe and thriving environment is something you expect and count on from the entire staff. If you've noticed that something has been different since the last time you visited your loved one, it could be an underlying sign that something serious is going on behind closed doors. Contacting a personal injury lawyer for help can help bring the situation to light. Besides physical signs such as bruises and lacerations, here are some signs of possible abuse.
For some patients who are severely neglected or abused inside a long term care facility, they may become isolated from others and from family members. If your loved one is suddenly unavailable for visits or is heavily sedated each time you come to visit, it could be a sign of abuse. The nursing staff may send your loved one off on a day trip or to doctor's appointments when you are scheduled to visit. If you notice a repeating pattern, it should be addressed with the nurse case manager or social worker for further investigation.
If your loved one is demonstrating strong behavioral changes in their personality, it could indicate an underlying issue such as abuse. Some changes may include the following:
- Not wanting to be touched or receive physical contact
- Stoic or withdrawn behavior
- Sudden changes from normal behavior
- Disassociation from routine social activities at the facility
If you are unable to talk to your loved one or they are unable to communicate verbally, ask for help from a psychologist or social worker outside the facility. They will be able to offer an unbiased professional opinion and diagnosis that can help you build a personal injury case against the facility.
Sometimes a sudden illness caused from an underlying illness can be a red flag for abuse. If your loved one suffers a mental disability and the condition suddenly has taken a turn for the worse, it could indicate a mishandling of medication from staff members. If your loved one is being treated for a physical illness that requires medication or antibiotics but seems to be getting worse rather than better, having their physician evaluate their condition is essential in getting to the root of the issue.
Misplaced Personal Items
It's not uncommon for many personal items to get lost or misplaced in a nursing home, but if it is happening frequently, it could be an indication of theft. Many times, one person is the culprit behind stealing a patient's personal belongings. Unless your loved one or someone else sees the theft, it can often times be hard to pinpoint who is behind it. Asking your loved one questions about who has access to their personal belongings may help you get one step closer to an answer.
Theft, behavioral problems and improper care are all indications of abuse. Contacting a reputable personal injury attorney in your area will help you get a firm legal grip on a case against your loved one's caregiver.
For more information, contact a business such as Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S.