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How to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse

nursing home abuse

Abuse and neglect are both very real concerns and fears for those who have loved ones whose care they have entrusted to a nursing home. While nursing home abuse consists of intentional harm, neglect can be equally damaging, and consists of substandard care or a breach of duty. In both instances, the patient can suffer physically, emotionally, and financially as a result, so it is incumbent upon friends and family members to remain vigilant. At the personal injury law firm of Philly Justice, we understand how devastating the mere thought of a loved one becoming a victim can be, and we work hard to ensure that people with friends and family members in care facilities know how to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect. We are also there to provide you with the legal assistance you need if your worst fears are realized and your loved one has suffered some kind of injury.

One of the most important steps that can be taken to prevent nursing home abuse is to educate yourself as to exactly what it is. When a person is placed into a care facility, it is generally because they are no longer able to provide care for themselves. This means that they are also unlikely to be able to fend for themselves when being threatened in any way. This may be a result of diminished sight or hearing, mental capacity, or physical ability. Nursing home abuse can include:

Physical abuse such as hitting, pushing, or the inappropriate use of confinement, restraints or medication

Emotional abuse such as intimidation, humiliation or scapegoating

Nonverbal psychological abuse such as ignoring the resident, isolating them or terrorizing them

Sexual abuse includes nonconsensual physical contact as well as showing them pornographic materials or making them disrobe or watch others in sexual acts

Neglect or abandonment

Financial exploitation

Though it is impossible to always be present in order to prevent nursing home abuse, you can make sure that when you are in your loved one’s presence you are taking care to listen carefully and ask them pointed questions about their care. Assuming that a nursing home resident is imagining things or is looking for attention is a recipe for disaster: you need to trust your instincts and take action if you have the slightest suspicion that something is amiss.

Another important way to prevent nursing home abuse is to familiarize yourself with the warning signs and actively look for them. This can include closely monitoring the resident’s medications to make sure that they are being taken and are at appropriate levels rather than too few or too many being dispensed; monitoring financial accounts; visiting frequently and looking for physical marks such as bruises, signs of restraint, or signs of overmedication. It is also important to make sure that you have the opportunity to spend time with your loved one when they are not in the presence of a nursing home staff member so that they feel free to speak.

Nursing home abuse is an unthinkable betrayal of trust. If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, contact the personal injury law firm of Philly Justice immediately for help.