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What are some signs that a nursing home resident is being abused?

When we hear nursing home horror stories on the nightly news, we often learn about residents having suffered through prolonged harassment, threats and isolation at workers' hands.

In the many instances in which we hear about physical abuse that these residents have been forced to endure, they seem to stick with us for much longer. Perhaps this is because we can see visible signs of the trauma that they've endured.

Some of the most telling signs that your loved one is being subjected to physical abuse in a nursing home is if they appear to have injuries and no one seems to be able to explain how they came about. Broken bones, open sores on the skin, abnormal bruising and noticeable weight loss are potential signs that an elderly person is being subjected to abuse.

If your loved one is particularly immobile, then it's important that staff members regularly visit him or her to roll them over. If they don't, then it's likely bedsores will develop along their buttocks, calves and heels. If these aren't discovered and treated soon after appearing, then they may become infected and reach as deep as your loved one's bones. Once they reach that stage, they can be hard to recover from.

Falls are one of the primary reasons nursing home residents suffer broken bones. If your loved one suffers one, then it may also serve as a sign that the facility he or she lives in is understaffed.

One of the most common reasons nursing homes have inadequate staffing is because they're trying to reduce their overhead costs.

If your loved one falls because there's not enough staff to go around, then imagine how little attention that's being paid to them if they pose a wandering risk or need to be changed if their bedding becomes soiled. A bruise or broken bone may be only the first of many signs of a bigger pattern of abuse or neglect.

While there are many great nursing homes out there that employ caring staff members, there are many that hire what turn out to be abusive people. If your loved one has been victimized by one of these, then a Hays personal injury attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit against the worker and his or her employer in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Recognize Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect," accessed June 15, 2018

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