Warning Signs of Chattanooga Nursing Home Abuse

When we place members of our families in nursing home facilities in Chattanooga, it is because we believe the professional caregivers in the nursing home are able to provide better care than we are able to in own homes.

After all, nursing homes have equipment adapted to assist those with limited mobility, and they have trained staff on call at all hours to provide for safety.

When a nursing home fails to provide proper care to residents, we may feel a deep sense of dismay, and possibly outrage, in addition to our concern for the well-being of the loved ones entrusted to the care of nursing homes. It can sometimes be difficult to ascertain whether a nursing home is fulfilling its obligations to patients or whether patients are being subjected to neglect or abuse.

Warning signs of Chattanooga nursing home abuse may appear as obvious physical manifestations, or they may involve subtle changes in behavior or be detectable only by examining the patient’s records. A nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to assist in investigating if nursing home abuse is suspected.

Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Most people in Chattanooga think of the warning signs for abuse as something physical. Certainly, physical abuse is a real danger to nursing home residents, but abuse could take other forms as well. Different types of nursing home abuse include:

Not surprisingly, the indicators for abuse in Chattanooga nursing homes differ according the type of abuse involved. Whether a family member suspects abuse or just wants to be proactive in detecting any potential for abuse, it could be helpful to seek assistance in watching for different signs, and pay particular attention when noticing a change from past behaviors and circumstances.

Symptoms of Physical Abuse May Be the Most Obvious

Older individuals often bruise more easily than they did when they were younger, so new bruises on a patient’s arms or hands may not necessarily be cause for concern. However, increased bruising can be a sign of physical abuse, particularly when the bruises appear on a patient’s head or torso.

Another sign of potential physical abuse is an increase in injuries such as broken bones either caused by accidents or attributed to unknown causes. Broken eyeglasses, and signs of physical restraint such as marks around the wrist may also indicate that a resident is being subject to physical abuse.

If a patient either does not receive medication, receives the wrong medication, or ingests too much medication, this could be a sign of either abuse or neglect.

Signs That a Nursing Home Resident Is Suffering

In addition to instances where a patient fails to receive proper medication regularly, signs of neglect include bedsores, dirty laundry and linens, infrequent bathing, dehydration, and weight loss.

Changes in behavior, such as exhibiting fear or reverting to childlike mannerisms, could be an indication of emotional abuse. Financial abuse may be a danger if there have been changes to a patient’s will or financial records, or unexpected withdrawals from bank accounts.

When considering whether a patient is suffering from abuse, it is important to compare the current situation and behaviors with recently observed circumstances. What may be normal for one nursing home resident may provide grounds for concern with another. Family members are often best able to detect changes that could indicate abuse.

What to Do When Warning Signs are Observed

If you notice any of the above signs or anything that strikes you as suspicious, it is never a bad idea to ask for another’s opinion. In particular, if nursing home staff members refuse to allow you to visit alone with the patient without a medical reason for continued staff presence, this could be a sign of many different types of nursing home abuse.

The warning signs of Chattanooga nursing home abuse do not necessarily indicate that abuse is occurring, but they may highlight the need for closer investigation into the circumstances. For more information about investigating and dealing with nursing home abuse, it may be helpful to consult a nursing home abuse lawyer.