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Stopping Nursing Home Abuse

The issue of nursing home abuse first gained the public’s attention almost 50 years ago. Unfortunately, the incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect have continued to increase each year. As the elderly population increases each year, so too do the number of nursing home abuse victims. The need for good quality nursing home facilities has been unable to keep up with the ever-increasing elderly demographic. Combined with stressful working conditions, low pay, and shortages of staff have led to the nursing home abuse epidemic the country is facing today.

 

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It can be very difficult for a family to determine that their elderly loved one is being abused, especially if family members live a distance away and unable to visit on a regular basis. However, it is critical for families to remain vigilant. If there are any suspicions that your loved one is being abused or neglected, go with those instincts and investigate. If you see any of these signs, there is a strong indication that abuse or neglect is occurring:

  • Mental confusion, weight loss, and dry, fragile skin: If you notice any changes in skin condition and weight of your loved one, this could be a warning of dehydration and/or malnutrition. Slurred speech and chapped lips are also signs.
  • Decline in mental health: Emotional health is also a strong indicator something is wrong. If your loved one is showing signs of emotional distress – agitation, depression, withdrawal – they may be a victim of abuse. Isolating themselves, lashing out, and difficult sleeping should also raise red flags.
  • Unexplained physical injuries: These include bruises and bedsores
  • Mismanagement of medication: Unmarked prescription bottles or outdated medication indicated neglect or abuse.

There are several types of abuse a victim may be exposed to:

  • Physical Abuse: Physical abuse includes shoving, hitting, pushing, biting, or beating is a physical abuse victim. Physical abuse can also include force-feeding the resident or inappropriate use of drugs.
  • Emotional Abuse: Actions of nursing home staff do not have to be just physical to be considered abuse. Ways that staff emotionally abuse residents include verbal and nonverbal acts to humiliate, intimidate, or insult the resident.
  • Sexual Abuse: This happens when a resident is the victim of non-consensual sexual contact. Some signs a resident may be sexual abuse victim include bruising around genital area or breasts, genital infections, bloody or torn underclothing.
  • Financial Abuse: Financial abuse by nursing home staff is on the rise. This happens when an unauthorized person accesses the resident’s assets, funds, or property.

Let a Skilled Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Help

If your elderly loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a Virginia nursing home abuse attorney to find out what legal recourse your family may have. At Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, we have been aggressively advocating for victims for more than three decades and have helped many nursing home abuse victims receive compensation for their injuries, as well as hold the perpetrators who committed the abuse responsible.

Contact our office today to set up a free and confidential consultation with one of our dedicated nursing home abuse attorneys today.

Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia