While most of us would rather not think about it, the unfortunate reality is that nursing home abuse and neglect are two very real problems that plague the nursing home industry across the United States. While nursing homes and the employees that work there are required by law to treat those in their care with the utmost dignity and respect, the reality of what goes on behind closed doors often doesn’t match the ideal that the law imposes.
By almost every account, nursing home abuse and neglect figures are not accurately reflected by almost any study. This is because there is a gross lack of reporting when it comes to these problems. This is for several reasons, including:
- A resident’s inability to effectively communicate what is happening to them, due to a medical condition;
- A resident’s failure to tell loved ones what is happening to them because they fear for their own safety or are embarrassed to do so;
- A resident’s complaints of abuse or neglect falling on unsympathetic or skeptical ears; and
- A lack of hard, physical evidence documenting the abuse or neglect.
However, the fact remains that nursing home abuse occurs every day across the State of Maryland, and often with no one knowing about it besides the resident and the abusive employee.
Signs That a Resident May Be the Victim of Abuse
Detecting that there may be a problem is the first step towards ensuring the safety of your loved one and holding the responsible party accountable. One recent article details a few things that children who have parents in nursing homes can look for to help keep an eye out for a potentially abusive situation:
- Sudden, unexplained weight loss;
- Repetitive injuries from falls;
- Environmental hazards around the home itself, such as poor lighting, wet floors, unmarked steps, chipped concrete, or raised or peeling carpet;
- Limited ability to socialize with other residents;
- A decrease in the level of personal hygiene;
- Changes in behavior or overall demeanor; or
- The onset of bedsores.
While none of these signs necessarily means that a resident is being abused, it is a good idea to keep these in mind when visiting someone in a nursing home. The more of these factors that are present, the higher the likelihood that a resident may be suffering from abuse. Keep in mind that a resident may not come forward and volunteer information about the abuse for fear of embarrassment.
Do You Have a Loved One in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you believe that they are exhibiting signs of abuse, don’t wait to act. Depending on their situation, and the severity of the conduct involved, you or your loved one may be eligible for monetary compensation from the abusive employee as well as nursing home management. To learn more about nursing home lawsuits, call one of the skilled personal injury advocates at the Maryland-based law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at 410-654-3600 today. Calling is free and will not result in any cost to you unless we are able to help you or your loved one recover compensation for their injuries.
More Blog Posts:
Understaffing: The Number One Cause of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 15, 2015.
Nursing Home Abuse Doesn’t Require Physical Contact, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 8, 2016.