Physical abuse can be as extreme as assault and battery or rape – or may consist of forced restraint, either by mechanical or chemical means (such as administration of psycho-pharmaceutical drugs not authorized by a doctor).
Emotional abuse may include insults, humiliation, threats, and attempts to frighten the resident; it can also be a crime of omission, as when the resident is ignored, disregarded, and/or isolated against his or her will.
Obvious signs to look for include:
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- open wounds, sores or cuts
- burns and abrasions
- sudden and unexplained change in weight
- soiling, poor hygiene, smell of urine or feces
- loss of hair
- torn, stained, or bloody clothing or bedding
Less obvious signs may consist of:
- listlessness or unresponsiveness
- infantile or other strange behaviors
- physical or emotional withdrawal
- disappearance of personal items
- sudden and unusual financial transactions
If you note any of these signs you may have questions on what to do. First you should begin by notifying the facility management. Please remember that just because your loved one is displaying possible signs of abuse doesn’t mean someone directly abused them. It could be one of many signs of nursing home neglect.
More Red Flags
If you arrive at a facility to visit a resident during regular visiting hours and the staff refuses or delays access – or a staff member refuses to leave the room during your visit – these may be signs that they are hiding something. Again, it is important to begin by registering your concerns with the management, but if you are not satisfied, you have the legal rights to file a complaint to the appropriate agency. And of course you can always, and are urged to, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.
A Word on Retaliation
PMHP Law, LLC represents clients throughout Georgia and the Southeastern United States. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at +1-404-618-0882 or visit us online at www.eldercareabuselawyer.com.
Serving clients in:
Atlanta, Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Fulton, Whitfield, Douglas, Polk, Chatham and all of Northwest Georgia, North Georgia, Central Georgia and South Georgia, as well as much of the Southeastern United States.