It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon and you’ve decided to visit grandma at the nursing home. She’s glad to see you and the conversation is light and friendly. At some point, her sleeve pulls up a bit and you see a dark bruise on her forearm. You don’t want to seem too alarmed. After all, older people bump into things, their skin is thinner, or most are on medication that could be a factor.
Is it just a bruise? Is it one of the innocent side effects of aging, or did someone cause it? You hate to even consider the possibility but ignoring it could be a dangerous mistake.
While many older adults have a positive and supportive nursing home atmosphere, the tragic truth is that some don’t. In 2020, there were more than 15,000 nursing home abuse complaints in America. Nobody knows how many abuse incidents go unreported. Out of every 100 residents, ten may suffer some sort of mistreatment…and advocate groups estimate that more than 65% of victims are women.
Sometimes, bruises, cuts, or even broken bones are the result of nursing home staff handling the resident too roughly. A fall may not be accidental. Some staff members aren’t properly trained to properly maneuver residents through their daily routines. In many facilities, there’s not enough staff, so employees are overworked. If they’re tired and impatient, they can be careless enough to cause injuries. Sadly, some staff members are simply cruel to the people in their care.
Workers can simply neglect patients, which can result in bed sores, lack of proper bathing, or even malnutrition. Isolation can be mentally damaging to seniors and so can insulting language. Their fellow residents may be hurting them or speaking hatefully when no one is watching. There are even cases of other residents’ relatives causing physical and emotional injuries.
The heartbreaking truth is that these vulnerable seniors are often afraid to speak up about being abused. Don’t expect them to volunteer information. That’s why it’s so important to follow your gut instinct. If an injury looks like abuse, don’t ignore it. Part of every nursing home visit should include an honest conversation with your special senior about how they’re being treated. Ask specific questions about food, hygiene, interactions with staff, and physical injuries. Notice if they hesitate to answer.
If you have any suspicions, document injuries with photos or video recordings. Speak with nursing home management. Don’t hesitate to relocate your senior to a safer environment. The action you take will not only help your loved one, but may protect many others as a result.
Remember, it may not be “just a bruise.” Nursing home abusers deserve to be prosecuted and their employers pursued in civil court, we at Trammell & Mills will thoroughly investigate your situation and take proper legal action. We have no tolerance for elder abuse, and we’ll help you collect the damages your valued family member deserves. We urge you to call us at (864) 485-8585, so your senior can enjoy peace and safety in the golden years they have earned.