The American Psychological Association reports that there are approximately 4 million older Americans suffering from some sort of physical or psychological abuse. Experts estimate that for every reported case, 23 go unreported. If you have a loved one in a nursing facility, it is crucial to be vigilant. Look for the following signs of abuse or neglect:
- Bedsores — Known as pressure sores or decubitous ulcers, these painful sores may be caused by bad nutrition and extended pressure when patients are left immobile for long periods of time.
- Weight loss — Unexplained weight loss may indicate medication problems, poor nutrition or staff neglect.
- Falls — Frequent falls are a clear sign of neglect by nursing home staff because the facility has a duty to formulate and implement a nursing care plan that provides for the safety of residents.
- Bruises — Bruises on a nursing home resident may indicate that the patient suffered falls or was hit by personnel or aggressively restrained.
- Restraints — Abusive nursing home staff may use physical restraints. Putting physical locks on the arms and legs of residents to prevent their movement or administering strong drugs that act as chemical restraints may harm your loved one physically and emotionally.
To maximize profits, nursing homes may also cut staff, which often results in not enough personnel to properly care for patients. If you suspect that your loved one in a Pennsylvania nursing home suffers from neglect or abuse, call a Scranton nursing home abuse attorney to schedule a free consultation.