While many of us do not want to have the conversation, it is likely that at some point we will have to consider putting an elderly loved one in an appropriate nursing home. This is true for even those who prefer trying to care for their elderly loved ones at home. Sometimes, unfortunately, that is simply not possible. Many elderly require specialized care. This is particularly true if they are suffering from a degenerative cognitive disease such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson's. It is estimated that nearly two million elderly Americans live in long-term care assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, some of these elderly will suffer abuse at the hands of a caregiver.
For this reason, if your loved one is in a Nevada nursing home, it is essential that you visit him or her regularly and become aware of the signs of elder abuse. That way, you can intervene right away if you ever suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are several manners in which an elderly person may be abused by a caregiver in an assisted living facility. These include, but are not limited to:
Physical abuse: The most outwardly apparent type of abuse, some signs that may appear on your loved one without adequate explanation include bruises, sprains, dislocations, scars, welts, and broken bones. One warning sign is when the caregiver changes his or her behavior, including refusing to leave you alone with your loved one;
Sexual abuse: As surprising as it may sound, the elderly do suffer from sexual abuse by caregivers. Some signs include unexplained sexually transmitted diseases, bruising around the breasts or genitals, underwear that is stained or torn, as well as vaginal or anal bleeding that is unrelated to a medical condition;
Emotional abuse: While these may not leave physical marks, this type of abuse can significantly deteriorate your loved one’s well-being. Some signs that emotional abuse has occurred include unusual behavior in the elderly person such as thumb sucking, mumbling, and rocking back and forth;
Financial abuse: Signs of financial abuse, which is a common occurrence among the elderly, includes unexplained bank withdrawals, missing cash, unusual purchases of goods or services, as well as changes in power of attorney and property titles. Unfortunately, the perpetrator in financial abuse cases tends to be the elderly person’s caregiver;
Neglect: While caregiver neglect may not necessarily be intentional or malicious, it is still a form of elder abuse. Whether the facility is understaffed or the workers are improperly trained, neglect causes pain and suffering and sometimes death. Signs of neglect may include unsafe living conditions, unusual loss of weight, dehydration, bed sores, being inappropriately dressed for the weather, and soiled beds or dirty clothing.
Legal Help in Nevada
If you suspect that your elderly loved one or another’s loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, you must act right away. The personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau are dedicated to fighting on behalf of the injured in Las Vegas and across the state of Nevada. Do not let your elderly loved one continue suffering; take legal action now.
(image courtesy of Jeremy Wong)