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06/08

Nursing Home Abuse: The Silent Problem

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

Many people have heard horror stories about elderly patients being abused while living in nursing homes. Though some of these stories may be exaggerated, the sad fact is that many of them are true.

When an elderly person is unable to care for himself or herself at home, a nursing home becomes a real possibility. This does not mean that his or her family does not love the elderly person. Instead, the family is trying to do its best to ensure the elderly family member receives the care he or she needs.

However, this act of love could lead to an elderly family member being abused. That is why it is important to know the signs of nursing home abuse when you see them. An elderly patient who is being abused may be unable or unwilling to tell anyone. This results in the abuse continuing.

The most obvious type of abuse is physical abuse. If you notice bruises, abrasions or other unexplained injuries, it could be a sign that your loved one is being abused. Emotional abuse is also common, but more difficult to identify. If a patient is affected by dementia or other cognitive issues, he or she may not be believed when reporting shouting, humiliation or threatening language. Emotional abuse can cause a loved one to feel isolated, neglected and depressed.

Financial fraud is another common form of abuse. Caregivers can easily use their positions to extort money from residents. If you notice missing items or an unexplained change in your loved one’s bank account, be sure to investigate.

While not as common, sexual abuse can and does occur. If you notice unexplained injuries, anyone making inappropriate comments or if your loved one complains of unwanted attention, be sure to address the issue with the on-site physician.

What Do I Do If My Loved One is Being Abused?

If you know or even suspect that your loved one may be suffering abuse while in a nursing home, contact a lawyer who specializes in this area of the law. The team at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas have extensive experience helping those who have suffered elder abuse seek justice. We can help you determine what type of abuse has occurred as well as seek compensation for any resulting damages. The most important thing to do in this situation is to get your loved one out and to a safe place. Your personal injury attorney at Bernstein & Poisson can help you address the legal aspects of your case while also ensuring your loved one is safe.

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