Nursing home abuse isn't just physical violence. While that's one type that you might recognize when you see it, other kinds are more subtle. For instance, a nurse falling behind and skipping a resident's bath one day might not stand out, but it's still negligence to allow any medical requirement to go unmet. Not only that, but your parent deserves to receive fair, humane treatment. Here are four kinds of nursing home abuse that you should look for.
1. Financial abuse
One kind of abuse your parent may not even know is taking place is financial abuse. This comes in many forms, from having someone steal cash from your parent in his or her room to having someone ask to have your parent's will altered when he or she is not in the right mind.
Negligence ranges, but it can include anything from failing to feed your parent to allowing him or her to sit and develop bedsores. It's important for the nursing staff to regularly check on your parent and to provide medications on time. If your parent calls for assistance, the nursing staff should respond quickly. It's a good idea to test this by pressing a call button to see how long it takes for the staff to arrive.
3. Physical abuse
Physical abuse does take place, although it tends to be more recognizable. Look for bruising, sudden broken bones, bedsores and other physical manifestations of injuries. One fall might not mean negligence or abuse is taking place, but multiple falls or extreme bruising may indicate that something is wrong.
4. Psychological abuse
Psychological abuse is when an individual suffers due to verbal or mental harassment or neglect. For instance, a person who has dementia may not remember if he or she received medications. A nurse or aide should never press the individual to remember and shouldn't yell at him or her for making mistakes. Another instance might be if a resident suffers from teasing or being called names by the staff. None of these actions are acceptable.
If you've noticed that your parent or loved one is acting oddly or has told you that he or she is abused or harassed in a nursing home, you have options. Try speaking to the nursing home director, and if nothing is done, your attorney can help you move forward with a claim to help you protect your loved one from continued harm.