When You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

With almost two million Americans living in facilities providing long-term care, such as nursing homes, reports of abuse and neglect have become large and growing issues.

Federal regulations concerning nursing homes protect the rights of residents and their freedom from abuse and neglect in any form. These regulations define abuse as intentionally inflicting an injury or injuries to a resident, unreasonably confining a resident, intimidating a resident, punishing them or depriving them of care, leading to physical or mental harm.

These regulations further define neglect: the home’s failure to provide care and ensure no harm falls on the resident whether intentionally or not. Neglect also means failing to avert a situation that resulted in a resident getting hurt or becoming anxious.

A nursing home abuse lawyer in Springfield, IL like Noll Law Office can help you if you suspect your loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect in the nursing home where he or she is a resident. Some of the most common signs that a resident is being abused or neglected are listed below. Note, however, that it is tough to identify or ascertain neglect or abuse. Your lawyer may be able to help you determine whether your suspicions may be right.

  • Your loved one’s physical appearance or personal hygiene is suffering
  • Appearance of pressure ulcers (bed sores)
  • Your loved one suddenly loses weight
  • Your loved one is dehydrated or malnourished
  • Your loved one has suffered an injury due to a fall while in the nursing home
  • Your loved one seems moody or withdrawn
  • Your loved one seems less friendly to other residents in the nursing home
  • Your loved one seems less friendly to the nursing home staff
  • Injuries that were not caused by an accidental fall

A nursing home may also be putting residents in danger if

  • There is poor lighting
  • The floors are slippery or dirty (spills are not quickly mopped up)
  • Mobility equipment is damaged, unstable, or unsafe
  • Furniture in your loved one’s room is unstable or unsafe
  • There is a general lack of cleanliness and hygiene, punctuated by the presence of cockroaches, rats, and other creatures that thrive in unhygienic environments.

Talk to your lawyer immediately if you see any of these signs that your elderly loved one may be at risk every day they spend in the nursing home.