Many Maryland families will one day make the decision to place a loved one into a nursing home, if they have not already. As the population ages, nursing homes are becoming more and more necessary for individuals who can no longer care for themselves and need assistance in their daily activities. While many residents may have pleasant experiences in their nursing homes, the tragic fact is that nursing home abuse and neglect are still common occurrences in Maryland and nationwide. In fact, one survey of nursing home residents showed that up to 44% of them had been abused at some point, and almost 95% had witnessed someone else be neglected. Despite its prevalence, this abuse and neglect might sometimes fly under the radar, especially when the resident victims are ill, confused, and unable to report it themselves.
Thus, unfortunately, the onus may be on family members to identify abuse or neglect in nursing homes. In some situations, the signs will be subtle, or easily written off as something else. Still, family members should, when visiting their loved ones in Maryland nursing homes, pay close attention to some “red flags” that may indicate abuse or neglect.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Some of the signs of abuse and neglect in a nursing home are situational—what are the living conditions like? Unsanitary conditions in the residence may be a sign of general neglect. Other signs have to do with resident behavior. Does the resident act oddly when staff members are around? Do they have sudden unusual behaviors, such as a fear of being touched or extreme irritability? Lastly, the physical condition of the resident can shed some light on the situation. Unexplained bruises, cuts, or other injuries should definitely raise concern, as should poor hygiene, sudden weight loss, falls, fractures, or infections.
If one or more of these warning signs is present, it may be worth having a conversation with the resident about their experiences with staff members. If the resident admits that something has been happening to them, or if the family member continues to be concerned based on the warning signs, swift action should be taken to try and remedy the situation—contacting the head of the nursing home, for example, or even removing the resident altogether and moving them elsewhere. Additionally, if the resident has been injured or fallen ill as a result of the abuse or neglect, families may also have the opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover monetary compensation for the staff members’ negligent actions.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If your loved one has suffered due to suspected or confirmed nursing home abuse or neglect, you should waste no time before calling the skilled Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. Our attorneys have years of experience representing Maryland families against negligent nursing homes and their large legal teams, and have successfully recovered millions in compensation for our clients. To learn more about how we can help you and your family, reach out today to schedule a free consultation at 800-654-1949.