According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), as many as three million Americans reside in our nation’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Suspicious injuries are defined as injuries which occur in a nursing home setting and may involve nursing home abuse or neglect. Reports of nursing home abuse and neglect have escalated in the last several years.
Why Suspicious Injuries Happen
Many nursing homes are owned by multimillion dollar corporations. The care of your elderly loved one has become big business. Some nursing homes trim costs in an effort to increase profits. This results in understaffing or inadequate training and supervision of staff members, which can lead to suspicious injuries and sometimes, wrongful death.
Types of Suspicious Injuries
- Malnutrition / Dehydration
- Bruises and abrasions
- Infections and fevers
- Medication issues
- Frequent falls and unexplained fractures
- Unsanitary conditions
- Unexplained genital infections (sign of sexual abuse)
While visiting your loved one, you may notice behavioral changes that indicate something is amiss. Your loved one may seem withdrawn, depressed or disinterested in favorite activities. He or she may seem fearful, particularly when a caregiver is present in the room. Occurring more infrequently, your loved one may suddenly express a desire to make changes to financial documents or make large bank withdrawals.
You can help to protect your family member by monitoring these physical and emotional signs and symptoms of abuse and remaining actively involved in his or her care. You may wish to alter your usual visiting schedule to include visits at times of the day or week when caregivers may not expect you. This increases the chance that you may notice something is wrong.
If your loved one tells you about being neglected or abused, trust your instincts. Take any reports seriously. Then contact an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney. At Cullan & Cullan in Phoenix, Arizona, our law firm includes lawyers who are also doctors who will fight for the rights of your loved one. Please call Cullan & Cullan today at (602) 786-8860 to arrange for a confidential, no-cost consultation.