Nursing Home Abuse in New Hampshire
When your elderly loved ones are no longer able to care for themselves, many times the best option is to move them into a nursing home or elderly care facility. While having them at home is often the preferential option, it is not always the most practical one. Nursing homes are trusted to keep our loved ones safe and provide the care that they need. Sometimes a nursing home can neglect their duties and cause your loved one to suffer. When this happens, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries or suffering.
Types of NH Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse does not always have to be physical. There are many types of abuse that can take a toll on a victim. Some of the most common ways that nursing home patients are abused include the following:
Neglect: Nursing home patients often require on staff to assist them in everyday activities from bathing to feeding themselves. When staff members neglect their responsibilities, their elderly patients can suffer greatly. Patients who are left alone for long periods of time can experience health issues like bed sores from staying in the same position for too long and malnutrition from not getting enough to. Long-term neglect can also lead to depression, dehydration and more.
Physical Abuse: Nursing home patients can be physically abused when a staff member, visitor or fellow patient kicks, hits or beats them. Physical abuse does not have to be intentional either. Sometimes staff members can be unnecessarily rough when dealing with patients. Many nursing home patients are frail and suffer physical ailments. They should be treated with care at all times. A patient can be knocked, bumped or shook too hard during dressing, bathing or general care and can experience serious injury.
Emotional Abuse: A staff member who uses their authority to verbally harass a patient can cause emotional distress that can be considered abuse. Yelling at a patient can be uncalled for, but there are many other acts that can lead to serious and long term emotional abuse. A lot of nursing home emotional abuse also occurs in the form of neglect or unreasonable confinement. When elderly patients are isolated or left alone for long periods of time without communication or interaction, they may become depressed or suffer emotional stress.
Sexual Abuse: Staff members, visitors or other patients who take advantage of a patient in a nursing home by committing non-consensual sexual acts can be held liable for sexual abuse. Nursing home facilities are responsible for making sure that patients are kept reasonably safe. Even if the abuse is not caused by a staff member, the facility can still be liable for letting the abuse occur. Sadly, sexual abuse in a nursing home is not uncommon.
How to Recognize Nursing Home Abuse in NH
Nursing home abuse happens for many reasons; one big reason is because of staffing issues. Facilities that are understaffed or staffed with unqualified workers are prone to accusations of abuse. When workers are overworked and unhappy with their jobs, some of them neglect to perform their duties correctly. Unfortunately, when this happens in a nursing home, it is the patients who suffer. Many patients are incapacitated physical or mentally and are not able to speak up and report abuse or neglect. This can make it hard for management or loved ones to recognize abuse right away.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Aging (AOA), some of the common warning signs of elder abuse include:
- Unexplained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores, or burns
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Poor basic hygiene
- Presence of bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Unexplained changes in behavior or mood
- Sudden decline in physical or mental health
Many nursing home patients rely on staff to help them bathe, eat and take their medications. When they are mistreated they can experience emotional pain and suffering as well as physical ailments. When a parent or loved one is hurt due to neglect or poor treatment at a nursing home, their family can request to be compensated.
Call a New Hampshire Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Now
If you believe that a loved one has been abused while staying in a nursing home and has suffered, physically, emotionally or financially, call our office right now. Attorneys Ryan Russman and Amy Connolly will talk to you and explain what your options are. You have a right to seek compensation for your loved one's injuries or wrongful death. Call us now to find out more.