A shocking story came out of Boley, Oklahoma, recently. Three nursing home facilities ─ all operated by two sisters, Lavada Stacy Myers and Enetrice Myers-Tarpeh ─ were shut down, and both sisters face a number of felony charges.
The two sisters are accused of fraudulently obtaining one resident’s debit card, claiming they had to pay for monthly expenses for the home. Instead, they allegedly purchased over $32,800 worth of makeup, airline tickets, and more. They each face four counts of financial neglect by a caretaker, as well as a number of other criminal charges.
Two of the other care homes owned by the sisters were also found to have bed bug and cockroach infestations, an inadequate supply of food, and other uninhabitable conditions.
This story highlights just how important it is for loved ones to recognize the signs of nursing home neglect and abuse. Residents in these homes often do not have the capacity to understand what is happening, but family members have the power to ask questions, demand answers, and protect them.
Signs of Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is often the most obvious because the results of this type of abuse or neglect can be seen on the body. The main signs of physical abuse include:
- Broken or fractured bones that do not have an explanation
- Bruises, scrapes, and welts
- Broken or damaged possessions, particularly eyeglasses and clothing
- Sudden behavioral changes, such as a withdrawal from social activities
- Elders who scare or are startled easily
Nursing home staff members may say that these signs are a result of an accident. When family members see these signs regularly, though, they need to take action.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is much more difficult to identify than physical abuse. Often, nursing home residents are not even aware it is happening. Signs of emotional abuse include:
- Behavioral changes, such as a loss in confidence
- Fear of being left alone or with a certain staff member
- Repetitive behaviors that could be considered self-soothing, such as a resident who mumbles to himself
- Refusal to take medication
Similarly to physical abuse, some of these signs can be a result of normal circumstances such as aging. However, when they occur repeatedly or become much worse in a short period of time, it may indicate nursing home abuse.
Signs of Neglect
Neglect may seem difficult to spot. However, there are still certain indications loved ones can watch for, including:
- Poor hygiene and uncleanliness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bed sores, indicating that an elder has been left in a bed or wheelchair for a long time
- Soiled garments or diapers that are not changed
- Frequent and unexplained sicknesses
- Failure to provide necessary medications or care for injuries
- Rooms being left consistently unclean
- Lack of attention and compassion from caregivers
Neglect and other types of abuse are very difficult for both residents and their loved ones. When any of these signs are observed, there is action family members can take.
Need Legal Help? Contact a Nursing Home Neglect Attorney
Learning that a loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home is devastating. While staff members may face criminal charges, residents and their loved ones can also claim compensation through a personal injury claim.
At the Cain Law Office, we are committed to holding nursing homeowners and staff members accountable for their actions. We will protect the rights of your loved one, collect evidence to support your claim, and help you demand the full amount of compensation your loved one deserves.
Contact us now to schedule a free consultation so we can get started on your case.