As the social dynamics of our society make nursing homes an inevitable option for our senior citizens who require care, it becomes our responsibility to also ensure that we are vigilant about protecting them from any abuse or neglect. The elderly citizens of our society are the most vulnerable, especially when living away from home at a nursing home facility where they cannot easily defend themselves. If you suspect any neglect or abuse, contacting a nursing home abuse attorney should be the first step you take. However, before you do so, understand what nursing home abuse is and how you can prevent it.
Although they sound similar, nursing home abuse and neglect are two separate things. Nursing home abuse implies intentional harm and neglect may stem through breach of duty or substandard care.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
The four primary types of neglect observed in nursing homes are:
- Emotional and Social Neglect: where the elderly is repeatedly ignored and left alone or repeatedly snapped at by overstressed staff and nurses.
- Personal Hygiene Neglect: where there is no adequate help with bathing, brushing teeth, laundry, changing the sheets on the bed, etc.
- Basic Needs Neglect: Where there is neglect in providing necessities such as food and water on time, reasonably clean and safe environment.
- Medical Neglect: where the nursing home fails to provide adequate attention to concerns such as bedsores, infections, cuts, bruises and such other medical care when needed.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
- Physical Abuse: where physical force is used to harm the victim intentionally that includes hitting, scratching or inappropriate use of restraints.
- Emotional Abuse: where the caregiver causes extreme emotional distress by ridiculing, humiliating, intimidating or terrorizing.
- Financial Abuse: where the nursing home forcefully asks the elderly person’s credit card number or other banking and financial details.
How Can We Help Prevent Such Abuse or Neglect?
Nursing home neglect and abuse can be avoided if we pay adequate attention to the needs of our loved ones and listen carefully to what they have to say. Make sure that there is enough staff to assist patients with mobility issues, to avoid accidents. Checking these patients more frequently is the key. The staff should be able to pay close attention to the cleanliness of the nursing home, and proper safety measures need to be implemented so that high-risk slip and falls do not occur. Visiting the nursing home frequently and looking for signs of abuse could greatly help detect any such occurrences in time. Some of the signs you could look for are sudden weight loss, sudden detachment or a look of fear, etc.
How Can We Deal With Abuse or Neglect?
Once you confirm a case of abuse or neglect, you have the right to file a case. A nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to investigate the matter and take it up legally adequately. It is usually very difficult to prove or even detect what goes on behind closed doors. Verbal abuse and emotional distress are harder to pinpoint. Many cases go unreported and unresolved. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you contact a lawyer immediately after you suspect such behavior. It will ultimately help your loved one live a peaceful life at an elderly care facility.
A nursing home neglect lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma can help you find justice for your loved one by conducting a thorough research and checking the history of the facility to determine their past performance and records to protect them.