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What You Need to Know About Nursing Home Abuse


When you have a loved one who is on the older side, you may start to worry about their well-being. Perhaps it is a parent, grandparent, aunt, or other member of the family that is entering their golden years. Whoever it is, their body’s physical condition is starting to decline, making it harder for them to live independently anymore.

At this time in their life, conversations need to be had about their future living arrangements. While aging in place is a growing trend because of modern medical technology and more accessible doctors, nursing homes are still one of the most common solutions for aging adults with health challenges.

The problem is that nursing home abuse and/or neglect is a pervasive problem across the country. This vulnerable population is less capable of defending themselves or advocating for themselves, making them easier targets for individuals with ill intent, or even those just being neglectful. Here is what you need to know about nursing home abuse before you start looking into facilities for your aging family member.

The Signs

You may not have a choice in putting your loved one in a nursing home, so you should be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect so you can watch for them to protect your family member. Some of the more obvious signs include unexplained injuries like bruises, missed medication routines, or unhelpful staff members. Other signs that may be a little harder to pick up on include unhappy residents, dehydration, or malnutrition. All these occurrences could point to a lack of quality care or even the presence of abuse, so be sure to take action if you notice any of them.


Lawsuits are Public Records

One thing that every family wants to know if they are moving a loved one into a nursing home is if that facility has a history of abuse or neglect. Fortunately, since lawsuits are public record, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find out if the facility you are interested in has any lawsuits in its past. While you cannot get all the details, you should be able to find records of past abuse or negligence lawsuits if you go through the state court system. It might be as simple as navigating a court website and typing the name of the facility into the “defendant” column as you look up lawsuits in your area. This resource can be incredibly helpful as you narrow down your search for the safest facility for your family member.

Filing a Lawsuit

If your loved one does experience abuse or neglect, it can be a very traumatizing experience for the individual and their family. Taking legal action is the best way to hold the responsible parties accountable for putting your loved one’s safety at risk. Hiring a personal injury attorney that specializes in this particular field is going to be your best chance of holding those parties responsible and pursuing compensation for any damages. Damages could include additional medical bills, property damage, lost income, and emotional stress. A nursing home abuse lawyer will make the process go much smoother, helping you compile evidence that will strengthen your case and making sure you avoid any missteps that could derail your claim.

Cross-Checking Nursing Home Reviews

Studies show that people trust a recommendation over an advertisement, which makes sense since a recommendation is proof of a product or service making other customers happy. Online reviews make it so easy to find recommendations from others about particular nursing homes, so why not use this free tool to help you find safe facilities for your aging parent? There are many nursing home review resources that can help you narrow down your search. See what the positive reviews are saying about a particular location, but see what the bad ones say as well. Do they describe any scenarios that may have been abuse or neglect? A facility with consistently happy residents is most likely to not engage with those behaviors, so many positive reviews could indicate a perfectly safe environment.


Information is Key

With everything that has been discussed in this article, the main idea is that more information is the key to preventing or at least protecting your loved one from instances of abuse or neglect at a nursing home. You need to know the signs of abuse to watch out for so you can look for them during visits. Understanding that you have access to multiple resources to learn about specific facilities and their history of lawsuits can help you find the right place for your family member. Finally, knowing that you can work with a professional lawyer to hold guilty parties accountable is crucial should the need ever arise. The more you know about the nursing home abuse problem, the better you will be able to protect your loved one.

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