When you suspect misconduct or abuse in your loved one’s care facility, it is important to take action fast before any more harm can be done. But many people are insure how to investigate or report nursing home abuse to the proper authorities.
If you are concerned that a loved one is being mistreated or neglected at their live-in care facility, continue reading to learn how to spot the signs, where to report your concerns, and what legal options you might have for recovering compensation for your and your loved one’s damages and losses.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home and live-in care facility abuse can come in many forms and in various environments. However, virtually all forms of nursing home abuse fall into one or more of four primary categories: financial abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and financial exploitation. Within these primary categories lies a long list of possible misconducts and neglectful actions.
Most often, neglect plays a major role in all these situations; and although it can also come in many forms, neglect is basically a failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and/or health care for a resident. It is also important to note that such situations of live-in care facility neglect can happen to non-elderly individuals, such as those with mental and physical handicaps and special needs.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
According to a study conducted and documented by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) in 2000, of all the nursing home residents surveyed, 44% claimed they had experienced some form of abuse or maltreatment within the past 12 months. In the same study, more than 95% of the residents interviewed stated they have witnessed some form of neglect or suffered neglect themselves within the past year. Even more troubling, the National Center on Elder Abuse also reported that 1 out of 24 cases of nursing home neglect and abuse are actually reported.
Signs of Nursing Home Mistreatment
There are numerous signs to look out for if you suspect that a resident is being mistreated or neglected in some way at their live-in care facility. Signs of physical or sexual abuse are easier to identify, as they often come in the form of bruises, wounds, broken bones, depression, fear, anxiety, social withdrawal, and even unexplained sexually transmitted diseases. Mental and emotional abuse are a bit more challenging to spot unless you take a closer look. Signs of emotional abuse can reveal itself in the form of fear, anxiety, depression, mood swings, lack of energy, withdrawal from social circles, and similar uncharacteristic changes in behavior.
Signs of financial abuse and exploitation can also come in many forms. If a care giver withholds affordable amenities and comforts in their dwelling, or has control over one’s finances but fails to provide for their ward, it is a form of abuse. Other signs a victim might show include uncharacteristically excessive gift-giving, financial payouts for companionship, signing over power of attorney or will without understanding the transaction, and similar actions.
Basic neglect entails conditions and actions such as:
Failure to provide…
► Basic hygiene or appropriate clothing;
► Appropriate clothing;
► Nutritional food;
► Medical aids (i.e. Glasses, cane, walker, dentures, hearing aid, or medications);
► Clean and safe dwelling;
► Adequate facilities (i.e. kitchen appliances, HVAC, plumbing, electricity)
Actions such as….
► Leaving a resident with dementia unsupervised;
► Confining a resident in bed without care;
► Not treating bed sores or pressure ulcers;
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse
If you feel that your loved one’s situation or condition is an emergency, contact 911 right away.
If you strongly suspect that your loved one is not being adequately cared for in their nursing home or live-in care facility, your first priority is to get in touch with a professional who can represent your family’s best interests. You can choose to contact Adult Protective Services (APS), or visit the National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence website for a list of elder abuse reporting hotlines in Indiana. You also have the option of using the U.S. Administration on Aging Eldercare Locator, which can connect you to services for elder care and more.
Once you know your loved one is safe, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer for information on your rights to recovering compensation for your damages and losses, such as medical bills, hospital expenses, lost wages, prolonged therapy, restitution, and more.
Indiana Elder Abuse Lawyers You Can Trust
Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to speak with a licensed Indiana nursing home neglect lawyer about your loved one’s live-in care facility conditions and experiences. Attorneys Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are well-versed and experienced in elder abuse law. We offer free initial consultations to discuss your case and determine if you are entitled to remuneration for your family’s damages. Also, we never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you!