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The Top 6 Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

May 25th, 2016 Nursing Homes
How to recognize nursing home abuse in Arkansas.

Don’t let your loved one suffer from nursing home abuse or neglect. The reports of abuse have been increasing in recent years, yet many incidents go unreported due to the victim’s inability to call for help. One of the primary reasons cited for the rise in nursing home abuse is the high turnover rate in staff and difficulty in finding and keeping certified nursing assistants.

If you notice any of the following warning signs of nursing home abuse, contact Nolan Caddell Reynolds for help finding justice for your loved one.

1. Physical Injuries

Nursing home residents over the age of 80 are most vulnerable to physical abuse. Warning signs of physical abuse include unexplained bruises, fractures, abrasions, welts, cuts, sores, or burns. Injuries localized around the breasts or genitals may indicate sexual abuse.

While injuries may occur from accidents such as falls, the frequency and type of these injuries may point to nursing home abuse. Keep in mind that your loved one may be unable, afraid, or embarrassed to report their case. If you notice multiple unexplained injuries, contact local authorities and a nursing home abuse attorney at Nolan Caddell Reynolds immediately.

2. Unexplained Changes in Behavior

Unusual changes in behavior in the absence of an underlying medical condition may indicate emotional abuse. These types of cases are more complex and require a more in-depth investigation. Emotional nursing home abuse can take the form of neglect, isolation, verbal abuse, and intimidation.

Victims may suddenly withdraw from normal activities, react negatively toward places or things they once enjoyed, act overly alert or fearful, or become angry and depressed. Your loved one may also display submissive behaviors such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling, collectively referred to as pseudo dementia.

3. Poor Health

While a decline in health can result from a medical condition, certain changes point strongly toward nursing home abuse or neglect:

  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers
  • Unattended medical needs
  • Poor hygiene
  • Dehydration and/or malnutrition
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lack of appropriate clothing

The presence of multiple health issues increases the probability of nursing home wrongdoing. Contact an experienced nursing home neglect attorney in Arkansas if your loved one displays any of these conditions without acceptable explanation from their care team.

4. Unusual Financial Transactions

Nursing home residents may elect to have their caregiver at the facility manage their financial accounts. Financial abuse can occur when the caregiver makes financial decisions on behalf of the account owner without consultation, or through intimidation or coercion. These transactions are often uncharacteristic and illogical, and may include:

  • Frequent or exorbitant withdrawals or transfers
  • Loss of personal property
  • New loans or mortgages
  • Unusual revisions to wills, deeds, or trusts

Cases of financial abuse often occur alongside physical and/or emotional abuse. These types of abuse often feed into one another and should be investigated and exposed as soon as possible once you become suspicious.

5. Frequent Arguments

If your loved one and their caregiver are frequently at odds with one another, it may indicate abuse. Bear in mind that many factors contribute to a strained relationship. Incompatible personalities may make it difficult for your loved one to accept their caregiver. The caregiver may also have difficulty convincing your loved one to take required medications or perform certain essential tasks, leading to hostility. However, if hostile behavior occurs alongside any of the above warning signs, it could point to nursing home abuse.

6. Unusual Caregiver Behavior

When you visit your loved one, watch how the caregiver acts. If they refuse or make it difficult for you to see your loved one, they may be trying to hide evidence pointing to abuse or neglect. Remember that the Nursing Home Resident’s Bill of Rights grants your loved one the right to see visitors.

If you have spotted any of these warning signs of nursing home abuse, contact Nolan Caddell Reynolds at 866-242-0452. The law offices of Nolan Caddell Reynolds can help you navigate these complex cases and get your loved ones justice and compensation for their pain and suffering.

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