When you placed your mother or father into the care of a nursing home facility, you hoped the staff there would treat them with the utmost care and respect, providing the medical attention you simply were unable to give to them. But then, upon visiting your loved one, you begin to notice their entire demeanor change. Their once light and positive attitude has turned to sadness and fear. If this seems familiar to you, your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse. Do not handle these companies alone. Let the Scranton personal injury attorney Craig Kalinoski fight for your family.
What is nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse can be found in many different ways including sexual abuse or inappropriate touching, psychological abuse, emotional abuse or intimidation, gross negligence, physical punishment, improper use of restraints, inappropriate use of drugs, bedsores, dehydration, and lack of supervision.
Under Pennsylvania law (Section 201.3), nursing home abuse is defined as, “The infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or punishment with resulting physical harm or pain or mental anguish, or deprivation by an individual, including a caretaker, of goods or services that are necessary to attain or maintain physical, mental and psychosocial well-being. This presumes that instances of abuse of all residents, even those in a coma, cause physical harm, or pain or mental anguish.”
The abuse may include:
- Verbal abuse: Threats of harm, frightening residents with false comments, etc.
- Sexual abuse: Sexual harassment, sexual coercion, or sexual assault
- Physical abuse: Hitting, slapping, pinching, and kicking as well as controlling behavior through corporal punishment
- Mental abuse: Humiliation, harassment, threats of punishment, or deprivation
- Involuntary seclusion: Separation of a resident from other residents or from his room or confinement to his room
Unfortunately, this type of abuse occurs far too often. But when you rely on the staff of a nursing home to tell you what is happening to your loved one, or how their health is progressing, you may be more in the dark than you realize. But what can you do?
When You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
You know your loved one best. When you visit them, you may begin to notice signs of mental and physical anguish that did not exist before. If you suspect abuse is happening in your loved one’s nursing home facility, be mindful of the following signs:
- Bed injuries
- Dehydration or extreme hunger
- Upset or agitated, or withdrawn from communication
- Falls, injuries, and infections
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Fearful of speaking in front of a staff member
- Unexplained/unexpected death
- Unsanitary conditions
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Injuries requiring emergency treatment like broken bones, fractures, etc.
- Constant sedation
- The resident is frequently ill
If any of these actions or occurrences seem familiar to you, be sure to document everything. Take photographs when you are with your loved one, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to seek legal representation.
Though documentation will be key, having a personal injury attorney on your side will help you bring justice to your loved one while you remove them from these unsafe conditions.
Kalinoski Law Offices, P.C.
If you suspect nursing home abuse is occurring in the facility your loved one is in, do not waste a moment more. Their life may be in the balance. Contact the Scranton personal injury attorney Craig Kalinoski today for a review of your nursing home abuse case.