For families with older members living in nursing homes, it is imperative to be familiar with signs of abuse and neglect and be alert to any red flags pointing to even the possibility of abuse. One step to take is to find a safer facility where the victim can reside. After the patient has been tended to properly in a secure and safe environment, a concerned friend or family member may wish to move forward with criminal and civil charges against the person or institution that failed in providing a professional standard of care to the patient.
Signs of financial abuse
Signs of financial abuse include the person not living at a standard up to his or her means; unexplained withdrawals from the person’s bank account; questionable changing of bank or investment accounts; or signatures on checks other than accountholder’s.
Signs of physical neglect
Signs of physical neglect include excessive weight loss, severe thirst, face appearing sunken, and bed sores.
Common signs of physical abuse
Signs of physical abuse include bruises on patient’s arms or neck, rope marks or welts on wrists and ankles, broken bones, burns, and any unexplained or repeated injuries. Be wary if staff members seem to be trying to avoid questions about these injuries. Another red flag is if the patient has been taken to different emergency rooms with injuries on different occasions.
Common signs of sexual abuse:
Signs of sexual abuse include vaginal or anal bleeding; bruising on breasts, thighs, buttocks, or genitals; ripped or blood-stained underwear; or vaginal infection or venereal disease.
Common signs of emotional abuse:
Emotional abuse can be detected by observing signs of fear or suspicion being acted out by the patient. Be alert when a patient avoids social contact or appears withdrawn or uncommunicative. Take precautionary measures whenever staff reports chronic or psychological problems.
It is highly recommended that families visit loved ones in care facilities as frequently as possible, as elderly patients being abused are often too fearful to speak up because of threats of retaliation should they do so. Some victims are simply unable to articulate the problem, such as person who has suffered a stroke or has dementia. Visitors are more likely to detect signs of abuse if they arrive unannounced and don’t keep to a predictable schedule.
Contact a Seattle, Washington, attorney familiar with abuse of the elderly in care facilities
The Seattle, Washington nursing home abuse lawyers at Wattel and York have been protecting the rights of Washington’s elderly in care situations for years. The caregivers who abuse the very people they have been charged with caring for have not only violated the law, they have violated all standards of human decency by causing harm to those who are too old and weak to fight back. The abused and their families need to hold the abusers accountable for the harm they’ve caused. They may be entitled to a monetary recovery for the care that they were owed and didn’t receive, and for the pain and suffering they endured.
That’s where Wattel an York come in. We are deeply committed to justice for people of all ages, and we are ready to put our years of experience to work for you and your family. Give us a call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation. If you can’t come to us, we’ll be happy to come to you. And don’t worry about payment, all legal fees come from the settlement, and unless we get you money, you owe nothing.