Abuse is when you treat someone with cruelty or violence, usually regularly or repeatedly. In a nursing home, this can present itself in a number of ways, from rude verbal interactions to stealing money from residents, physically attacking residents, preventing them from getting care, and more.
It’s believed that only one in 25 instances of nursing home abuse is actually reported; that’s a reporting rate of only 4%. The residents themselves may be afraid they’ll experience retaliation, they might be embarrassed or ashamed, or they might not be physically or mentally capable of reporting the abuse.
Nursing home abuse claims depend on strong evidence to prove that abuse occurred and caused the injuries a resident suffered. If you or someone you love was victimized by abuse in a care facility, reach out to our office today. We’ll begin the process of holding an abuser accountable and obtaining justice for your family.
Abuse or Neglect – Signs to Look For
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rates of abuse in older people are high in places like nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with these rates rising during the COVID-19 pandemic. As more people are getting older, more elders are facing abuse in nursing homes. Here are some of the signs to look for:
- Unexplained physical injuries
- Significant weight loss
- New symptoms that suddenly appeared without an obvious cause
- Mental health deterioration
- Changes in resting blood pressure and heart rate
- Bed sores (pressure ulcers), poor nutrition, muscle atrophy, and other signs of neglect
- Bruising from physical restraints
- Signs of overmedication
Sometimes, the signs of abuse are hard to determine, especially for residents of nursing homes who are already suffering from a variety of ailments. Residents of nursing homes are often older, have memory problems, dementia, or disabilities, and are more vulnerable to abuse of all kinds. If you are concerned about possible abuse in a nursing home, and you live far away from the nursing home facility, or if you aren’t able to visit often, ask a friend or other trusted family member to check on your loved one’s well-being.
Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes
We want our loved ones to be safe and happy when they make that transition to a nursing home, but sadly, that doesn’t always happen. Even the best-reviewed and most talked about nursing home facilities can fail to protect its residents and instead inflict harm upon them. Nursing home abuse happens in several different ways:
- Physical abuse
- Neglect of a resident’s basic needs
- Sexual assault
- Emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation
These are the main methods of abuse reported in nursing homes, and each one can cause serious harm. It’s important to note that not all abuse comes from the caretakers or employees of these facilities but that the family and friends of the victims may also be causing the abuse. One of the main jobs of a nursing home facility is to make sure its residents are safe and protected. And if the abuse is coming from an outside source, even family, it needs to be reported and stopped.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
According to Mississippi law, it is mandatory for certain people to report suspicions that an elderly or vulnerable person is being abused, neglected, or exploited. And when these reports are made, the Mississippi Vulnerable Persons Act requires an investigation into the claims. There are resources for reporting nursing home abuse as well as explaining what kind of evidence can help your case, such as:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photographs and video camera footage
- Nursing logs and caregiving records
- Patient medical records
- Keycard data
- Facility operation records
- Expert witness testimony
It can be a daunting task to file an abuse claim against a facility, especially when our loved ones are involved and hurting, but our team at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC is here to help you, and we have some great resources on how to report nursing home abuse in Jackson or elsewhere in Mississippi.
Seek Justice After Nursing Home Abuse
For many years, Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC has been strongly advocating for Mississippi’s older adults. We fight against the injustice that robs our most vulnerable population of their freedom and dignity.
If you have questions specific to your case, please reach out to our office to discuss your situation in greater detail. We provide free consultations to families exploring legal options.