Having a loved one in a nursing home is a stressful situation for friends and family members. Nursing homes are entrusted with the care and protection of elderly adults who are unable to meet their daily needs. This makes them vulnerable and can lead to many different types of abuse.
Friends and family members can help protect nursing home residents from such abuse. When we know the signs to watch for, abusive actions can be detected and remedied in order to protect other innocent victims from being subjected to nursing home abuse.
Know The Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
It can be difficult to know where to turn for help when one suspects nursing home abuse. Luckily, the aging American population has created many networks of support for both professional and family caregivers. A Place for Mom is one such support network. In addition to providing financial, social, and health information, the group has also provided information on how to identify and report elder abuse.
First, it is important to understand the many different types of abuse. Many people think that physical abuse is the only type of abuse an elderly person can suffer. But the fact is that many elderly adults are the victim of financial exploitation, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or simple neglect. These are all forms of elder abuse for which the law provides remedies.
Each form of abuse has its own indicators. For example, financial exploitation often results in mysterious financial transactions. Checks may be written to unknown persons or companies, cash may go missing, or unexplained “investments” may be made in assets which are not able to be identified. Neglect, on the other hand, is often visible in the form of poor hygiene, bed sores, weight loss, and other visible indicators that the victim is not receiving proper care.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources maintains an Adult Protective Services Division. This Division is tasked with protecting elderly and disabled adults from abuse, neglect and exploitation, as well as preventing unnecessary institutionalization. The Division provides extensive information and resources for family members and loved ones. It also maintains an adult abuse hotline to help facilitate reports of adult abuse.
These resources can help loved ones report elder abuse to the appropriate authorities. They can also help prevent an elderly victim from suffering further abuse, as well as preventing other innocent victims from falling prey to the abuser. Reports may result in criminal charges being filed against an abuser. They can also result in administrative investigations into the licensure of a care facility or individual health care provider. In addition to these remedies, elder abuse victims also have the right to file a civil lawsuit against their abusers and the care facility. Such suits can compensate a victim for his or her losses, as well as provide a financial incentive to deter such conduct in the future.
Our Mobile nursing home abuse lawyers have seen the damages patients and their families suffer as a result of nursing home abuse. It is important that these victims hold nursing homes accountable for such conduct in order to protect other innocent residents from being abused.