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Five Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse You Should Not Ignore

January 21, 2021

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

The majority of nursing homes in Pennsylvania provide high quality care and the proper support their residents need. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are also understaffed and underfunded. These conditions can easily lead to nursing home abuse or neglect. Many people only watch for physical signs of abuse and neglect, such as broken bones and bruises. Most signs of nursing home abuse though, are much more subtle than this. Below are five common signs of nursing home abuse no one should ever ignore.

Unexplained Injuries

Any time an elder becomes injured in a nursing home, you should investigate the situation. Injuries are often the result of a nursing home resident being improperly supervised, or because they were the victim of physical abuse, such as if a staff member pushed them. Always ask about any injury your loved one has sustained and if the staff members cannot explain how it happened, there is a good chance it was a result of abuse or neglect.

Unclean Living Conditions

All nursing homes are required to meet certain housekeeping and maintenance standards. When a nursing home is noticeably dirty, has tripping hazards present, or is otherwise unclean, it can be a sign of nursing home abuse. Residents that are forced to live in these conditions are at risk for becoming ill. Also, if the staff members are too busy to clean, they may also be too busy to properly care for your loved one.

Behavioral Changes in the Resident

Abuse and neglect is a terrible thing to live through. It changes a person and may cause them to become more withdrawn, depressed, or anxious. When a resident is showing these signs, it is important to speak to the staff members and ask about the change in behavior. Again, if the staff members cannot provide a sufficient answer, the behavioral changes may be due to nursing home abuse.

Dehydration and Malnourishment

Feelings of weakness, fatigue, and becoming sick often are just a few signs of malnourishment. When a person is suffering from dehydration, they may have a dry mouth, lips, and eyes, and may complain of thirst often. Residents in a nursing home often require care because they cannot properly feed themselves. When those needs are denied, it places nursing home residents at great risk. Malnourishment and dehydration can result in serious medical issues and at times, can even be fatal.

Missing Belongings

Financial abuse is a real threat in nursing homes and sometimes, a resident may not even realize it is occurring. If your loved one’s personal belongings are suddenly going missing, unexplained withdrawals are being made from their bank account, or they want to change important documents, such as their will, it may be a sign of abuse.

Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers can Help with Your Case

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important that you speak to an Allentown personal injury lawyer. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we know how devastating nursing home abuse is and we are committed to helping victims make things right. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.


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