Signs Your Loved One May Be a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is a serious and distressing issue involving the mistreatment or neglect of elderly residents in long-term care facilities. It can take various forms, including physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, and even sexual abuse.

According to statistics from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one out of every 10 people in this country who are over the age of 60 has experienced some incident of elder abuse each year. This means that 5 million seniors in this country are abused every single year. However, only one of every 14 incidents is reported to police or other authorities. Family members who have elderly family members living in assisted living facilities or nursing homes need to know what types of elder abuse take place and what the signs of abuse are. Too often, elderly victims of nursing home abuse are too frightened to speak up.

If you suspect your loved one is being abused, a Virginia Beach nursing home abuse attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help.

Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can take on many forms. Often, the victim is being subjected to several types of abuse by the same abuser. Tragically, in 60 percent of elder abuse cases, the abuser is a family member or friend. Some of the more common types are:

  • Confinement by isolating or restraining without adequate reason
  • Deprivation, which may involve withholding medications or access to needed medical devices
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial exploitation, such as misusing or stealing funds
  • Neglect, depriving a person of medical care, food, personal hygiene, or attention
  • Physical abuse, such as hitting, pinching, pushing, and slapping
  • Sexual abuse

What Are the Signs of Abuse?

Many elderly victims are too ashamed or too frightened to tell anyone that they are being abused. Here are some of the common signs that may indicate your loved one is being abused:

  • Behavior mimicking dementia, such as thumb sucking or rocking
  • Dehydration, infections, malnutrition, and other signs of neglect
  • Disheveled appearance, losing weight, or bedsores
  • Increased anxiety or agitation in the presence of certain people
  • Increasingly withdrawn or depressed behavior
  • Unexplained bruises, broken bones, or other injuries
  • Unexplained loss of money or property
  • Worsening medical conditions without a reasonable explanation

Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm for Legal Assistance

If you suspect your loved one is being abused, it is critical to contact law enforcement immediately and report the abuse. The situation should also be reported to the facility’s administrators. Alternative arrangements should be made for your loved one’s care to ensure their safety. You should also consider contacting one of our experienced Virginia Beach nursing home abuse attorneys to find out what other legal recourse you may have on behalf of your elderly family member.

At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our personal injury law firm has been advocating for nursing home abuse victims and their families for decades and will work diligently to get your loved one the financial compensation they deserve, like the $300,000 arbitration award we obtained for one client, an 80-year-old woman who suffered a fall from her bed resulting in a serious fracture of her left tibia and fibula. Due to her previous medical issues, the fractures could not be treated surgically, and she ultimately underwent an above-the-knee amputation of her left leg.

Contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation and find out how we can help.