Making the decision to place your loved one in the care of others is extraordinarily difficult for many. However, it’s sometimes the only option. Though a majority of places are credible, and the staff treats their patients with care and respect, nursing home abuse does happen. If you believe your loved one is suffering at the hands of the healthcare workers you trusted, you’ll want to contact a Maryland personal injury lawyer immediately. Keep reading to learn what you should look out for when your loved one lives in a nursing home.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse occurs when someone intentionally or unintentionally harms another person. Though many think this is limited to physical assault to inflict pain, there are many other instances in which staff may abuse and neglect patients. Aside from physical assault, abuse can include the following actions:
- Withholding medication as punishment
- Refusing to provide food and water as punishment
- Giving sedation medications without the orders of a physician
- Physically restraining patients without the orders of a physician
- Failure to provide the proper care for patients (such as not turning them, which can result in pressure ulcers)
However, this isn’t limited to physical abuse. Elderly patients in nursing homes, unfortunately, endure verbal, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse. This includes rape, humiliation, insults, and isolation.
What Signs Should I Look Out For?
Though it’s unpleasant to consider, knowing the signs of elder abuse can help you protect your loved ones. If you have an elderly family member in the care of a nursing home, you’ll want to look out for these signs:
- Unexplained broken bones
- Lacerations and bruises
- Rapid weight loss
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Fear of staff members
- Complaints of staff members
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Untreated infections
You should also look out for signs of neglect, which is the intentional or unintentional failure to provide care. Examples of this include failing to provide the necessary medical treatment, leaving patients in unsafe and unclean conditions, and failing to meet the basic needs of the patient.
If I Suspect My Loved One Is Suffering, What Can I Do?
If you have noticed any of the signs of nursing home abuse, the most important thing to do is contact emergency services to get your loved one immediate medical attention. Once your loved one is safe, you should file a complaint with the Maryland Department of Health. However, this does not mean the case will be investigated immediately. As such, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
When your loved one has been treated poorly and injured due to the abuse, contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz as soon as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we will fight for you.