Signs Of Abuse
As a family member or friend of a patient in a New York City nursing home, it is important to know the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect so that you can act right away to stop it, prevent further abuse, and attempt to remedy any effects of past abuse. Identifying abuse is not always easy, because the conditions that are signs of abuse may also be explained by factors that do not implicate abuse or neglect. The nursing home will likely offer such alternative explanations, and even the patient may not be able to articulate the cause, either out of fear and intimidation or from embarrassment, confusion, dementia, etc. Whether or not the patient is claiming abuse, any potential signs of abuse or neglect should be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
Typical signs of abuse include:
- Unexplained bruises, sprains, or broken bones (physical abuse)
- Bruises or welts appearing at the same place on both sides of the body (patient was grabbed forcefully)
- Marks or bruises at the wrists or ankles (illegal or unauthorized physical restraints)
- Anxiety, depression, fearfulness (verbal, psychological, or emotional abuse)
Typical signs of neglect include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Confusion or disorientation not attributable to a diagnosed condition (sign of dehydration or malnutrition)
If you suspect abuse or neglect, it is important to document what you observe. Take detailed notes of the time and date and describe the condition. Any pictures you can take can, even with your cell phone if that is all you have available, may prove invaluable later on. You should also report any bedsores or other injuries or concerns to the nursing staff, including supervisors, right away. As soon as possible, bring your concerns to an attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury cases, including nursing home abuse and neglect. In New York City, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C.