Ohio nursing homes and assisted living facilities are full of elderly residents who were, for whatever reason, no longer able to care for themselves at home. If you're an adult son or daughter of an older parent, the decision to help him or her move into one of these residences was likely not made lightly. In fact, you probably did a lot of research, perhaps visiting various facilities and speaking with staff members and visitors in person, before you chose the place that best suited your parent's needs.
Sadly, elder abuse is an ongoing problem in this and many other states. Although a certain amount of trust is necessary when you can't be with your parent 24/7, it's also reasonable to expect that staff members are taking the utmost care to provide a safe and healthy living environment for your loved one. Sadly, you must always be on the lookout for evidence of assisted living trouble.
Elders are at risk from these types of abuse
There are various types of abuse going on in many of the nation's assisted care facilities. Knowing what to look for in advance may help you keep your mother, father, or other elderly loved one safe. Following, is a list of abuses to which your family member may fall victim:
- Emotional abuse: This includes verbal abuse or any ill-treatment that makes your loved one feel emotionally fearful or abused. Often, signs of this type of abuse include apathy, nervousness around a particular staff member and/or unusual behavior, such as repetitive rocking, tapping or biting nails, etc.
- Neglect: If your loved one appears disheveled when you visit, or is dirty or suffering bedsores, you may want to further investigate the situation.
- Physical harm: Were you satisfied with the explanation officials gave when you noticed bruises, scratches or other injuries on your loved one's body? If not, you can seek more information to see if the evidence backs up their story.
- Sexual abuse: Signs of this type of horrific abuse may include difficulty standing or walking, bleeding from genital orifices or evidence of a sexually transmitted disease.
- Money-related abuse: If your loved one tells you they gave money to a caregiver to make a purchase but never received the item, it's a definite red flag that something may be awry. Any money missing from an account or increased credit card use may also alert you to a problem.
No one wants to think of elderly loved ones suffering injury at the hands of those entrusted with their care. However, the reality is that millions of vulnerable people are victimized in nursing homes and other elder care facilities every year. Recognizing the signs of abuse and knowing where to turn for help may save your loved one's life, as well as affect changes in the system that may prevent others from suffering injury in the future.
An experienced Ohio personal injury attorney experienced in elder care issues is well aware of all existing laws regarding such matters. A logical first step to take if you suspect your loved one suffered injury due to caregiver negligence is to request a meeting with an attorney in your area.