As a child who wants to do what is best for an elderly parent, you hope to choose a nursing home facility that provides top-notch care. Unfortunately, there are facilities and workers who don't share the same goals as you. Instead, they only care about themselves and their paycheck. As a result, nursing home abuse often comes into play.
Before we go any further, there's one very important thing to remember: There is more than one type of nursing home abuse.
While physical abuse may be the form most people are familiar with, don't overlook the impact of emotional abuse or financial extortion.
Steps to take
Do you have reason to believe that a parent has been the victim of nursing home abuse? Some of the signs that point towards this include:
- Unexplained bruising, cuts, and wounds.
- Complaints by your parent that he or she is not receiving the proper level of care.
- Unusual behavior, such as nail biting or anything else that shows nervousness.
- Frequent illness.
- Signs of malnutrition or dehydration.
- Caretakers who are unable to explain injuries.
If you recognize one or more of these symptoms, it's time to talk to the supervisor in charge of ensuring that your parent receives the best possible care. If he or she is unable to explain injuries and other behavior, it's a good idea to move up the chain of command.
As you're investigating what's happened, it's important to keep an eye on the health and well being of your parent. This may mean moving him or her to another facility, as it's better to be safe than sorry.
If you continue to believe that your parent was the victim of abuse, it's time to learn more about your legal rights. Even if he or she is now in a better facility, you shouldn't forget about what happened in the past. Instead, answer these questions:
- What rights did your parent have during his or her stay in the facility?
- What qualifies as neglect in a nursing home setting?
- What steps must you take to file a lawsuit against the facility?
- What type of damages can you seek?
Nursing home abuse is a serious problem that requires immediate action. If you have reason to believe that your parent has been abused, it's up to you to prevent this from happening in the future and to help protect his or her legal rights.