Most of the nursing homes in and around Moore are diligent in providing seniors with the highest standard of care and support. Unfortunately, there are situations and facilities where abuse and neglect do occur. There is no excuse for abusing or neglecting an elderly resident in your care. Staff and facilities that are responsible for these atrocious acts must be held accountable.
If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the Cain Law Office now to discuss your legal options. A Moore nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm can help you protect your loved one, fight to hold the facility accountable, and demand compensation for the losses suffered. Schedule your free consultation now.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse
It is natural to feel upset and unsure of what to do when you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect. Always err on the side of caution and take action. Important steps to take include:
- Document signs of abuse: Take pictures of your loved one’s injuries, document his or her statements about what happened, and speak to other residents who may have witnessed the abuse or neglect.
- Report the abuse to the facility: You should always speak with the nursing home about your concerns and ask for details about what happened. Management should write and file a report so your concerns are further documented.
- Report the abuse to the state: Residents in Moore can report nursing home abuse to the Adult Protective Services division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. You can contact your local DHS office through the website.
- Talk to a lawyer: Nursing homes and the insurance companies that represent them will aggressively defend against allegations of abuse or neglect. It is crucial that you have an experienced Moore nursing home abuse attorney on your side from the very beginning to ensure your loved one’s rights are protected.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home residents often do not come forward about abuse or neglect because they fear that it will only make the situation worse. Some residents may not even be aware that abuse or neglect is occurring, or they may feel shame or embarrassment about the situation. This is why it is so important for family members to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse and watch for them regularly.
The most common signs of abuse and neglect include:
- Improper hygiene, such as dirty fingernails or lice
- Cuts, bruises, or other wounds that have not been treated
- Bruises around the wrists or ankles that suggest the use of restraints
- Sudden and drastic weight loss
- A complexion that is abnormally pale
- Signs of feces or urine, including unpleasant odors
- Unaddressed health issues
- Torn clothing
- Broken personal items
- Inadequate cooling or heating measures in the home or a resident’s room
- Caregivers that refuse to allow the resident alone with someone elseResidents who are abandoned in a certain area or allowed to wander off the property
- Sudden withdrawal from activities a resident once loved
- Sudden behavioral changes
- Sudden medication changes, indicating that a caregiver has withheld it or overmedicated the resident
Any time you see these signs, or any other indicators of abuse or neglect, it is important to report it and speak to a lawyer for help right away.
Understanding the Types of Elder Abuse
When many people think of elder abuse, it is often physical abuse they think of first. Unfortunately, this is just one type of abuse. Elder abuse includes:
- Physical abuse: This type of abuse involves intentional force used against an elderly individual that leads to physical harm.
- Sexual abuse: Nursing home staff members or other residents may sexually abuse an elder within the facility. Sexual abuse refers to any unwanted or forced sexual contact of any kind with a resident. Tragically, residents suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other disabilities are most likely to be the victims of sexual abuse, due to the fact that they cannot consent to sexual acts.
- Emotional abuse: Also called psychological abuse, emotional abuse causes mental pain, distress, or fear. This type of abuse can involve yelling at, humiliating, and belittling an elderly patient, threatening a resident, or keeping a resident isolated from others.
- Neglect: Neglect occurs when caregivers fail to properly care for an elderly person. Neglect is not always intentional, but it is not an honest mistake, either. Neglect occurs when caregivers are careless or have a lack of regard for the well-being of a resident.
- Abandonment: This type of abuse typically goes along with neglect. Abandonment has many consequences on an elderly person’s mental and physical health and should never happen in a nursing home.
- Financial abuse: Caregivers sometimes take advantage of a resident’s resources by stealing from or tricking residents into giving them money or property. Financial abuse is the most common self-reported type of abuse.
- Self-neglect: Sometimes, nursing home residents become unable to care for themselves, or they refuse to dress themselves or take their medication. When residents refuse in this manner, it is still the responsibility of the staff members to ensure residents are receiving the care they need.
Common Injuries in Victims of Elder Abuse
Nursing home abuse and neglect can result in many injuries to residents. The most common of these include:\
- Broken bones, most commonly the hip
- Sprained and strained muscles and ligaments
- Internal organ damage
- Bruises around the breasts and genital areas
- Unexplained STDs
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the common injuries associated with nursing home abuse and neglect. Any time you notice suspicious injuries, it is important to speak to the nursing home staff members and contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Moore.
How Our Moore Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help
At the Cain Law Office, we know how to hold nursing homes accountable for the actions of staff members, and we have the experience necessary to help you demand the justice and compensation your loved one deserves. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.