Nursing home abuse occurs frequently, but it can still be difficult to spot or identify if you do not know what to look for. Quite often, friends and family members of older adults in nursing homes are in the best position to spot injuries that may have resulted from abuse or neglect, so it is critical to know what you should be observing and reporting. Our Orange County nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have tips. The following are the top ways to spot nursing home abuse in Orange County.
Learn About Different Forms of Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many different forms, so it is critical to understand the types of abuse that can occur. Those forms of abuse typically include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, willful deprivation, and passive neglect.
Know the Physical Signs of Different Types of Abuse
All of the above types of abuse and neglect have distinct signs and symptoms. Anything from unexplained physical injuries (like broken bones or lacerations or burns) to sexually transmitted infections to broken bones and bed sores should be causes for concern. The US Department of Justice identifies many other specific signs and symptoms of each type of abuse.
Identify Red Flags at Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
Sometimes, the biggest red flags have something to do with the facility itself. For example, as US News & World Report suggests, facilities where abuse or neglect may be occurring also might have bad odors, unanswered phones, high turnover, and limited activities for residents.
Learn How to Research Facilities
While any facility — regardless of price — can be a place where abuse or neglect occurs, you can avoid some facilities that are known to be dangerous by doing your research. You can conduct research through the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Trust Your Instincts
For many people, it is difficult to trust our instincts. We might feel uncomfortable suggesting that a nursing home is not providing a high quality of care, and we may fear the possibility of having a facility or specific staff member investigated based on a feeling or sense of concern alone. However, it is critical to know that you should trust your instincts when it comes to the risks of nursing home abuse and neglect. According to a report in US News & World Report, when you visit a loved one or a facility, “ultimately your gut knows,” and one of the clearest warning signs of abuse or neglect can be that “the family member’s concern that something is not right, or a feeling of uneasiness when they visit.” It is better to be safe than sorry, and you should seek help if you have concerns about abuse.
Contact an Orange County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing home abuse remains a serious problem in Orange County and throughout Southern California, and it is often family members who spot the signs of abuse when a loved one is being harmed. If you have any concerns, you should get in touch with one of the experienced Orange County nursing home abuse lawyers at our firm today for assistance. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we help elderly nursing home residents and their families in abuse and neglect cases.
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