A handful of nursing homes in the greater St. Louis area offer a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment for their residents. But a quick look at the nursing home compare tool from Medicaid quickly reveals that a majority of the long-term care facilities in and around our city are seriously lacking.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, knowing how to spot signs of abuse and neglect is absolutely essential. If you suspect abuse, taking swift action is the best way to make sure your loved one is made safe and protected against future injustice. Call Brown & Brown in St. Louis at 314-333-3333 or in Illinois at 618-888-8888 to schedule a complimentary case review and learn how we can help.
Abuse in Nursing Homes
Signs of abuse in a nursing home may show obvious and include things such as:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Bruises or lacerations
- Unexplained injuries of any sort
Physical signs of abuse are often the most shocking, but not always the most telling. There are many forms of abuse and mistreatment that do not result in visible marks. This makes it important to know the emotional symptoms of physical abuse as well.
Behavioral changes to watch for include:
- Fear, agitation, or discomfort around nursing home staff
- A general withdrawal from the community and other residents
- Adopting new habits like rocking or biting nails
- Anxiety, mood swings, and depression
These symptoms may indicate nursing home abuse and should be paid attention to. Make sure to visit your loved one frequently to notice subtle changes as they occur and to begin asking questions of staff and management if unusual or worrisome behaviors start to appear.
Neglect in Nursing Homes
As with abuse, neglect in nursing homes can come with physical signs. These include:
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Over or under-medication
- Unsanitary conditions
- Bedsores and pressure ulcers
Neglect, like nursing home abuse, can be deadly. If you suspect a loved one is being neglected in his or her nursing home, it is important that you take action quickly to help prevent serious or fatal consequences.
Reports of nursing home abuse can be made to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services in St. Louis. In Illinois, reports can be made to the Regional Ombudsman located through the website of the Illinois Department on Aging. Reporting abuse or neglect to a state agency will prompt an investigation that could bring criminal charges. Justice for your family, however, will require the assistance of a nursing home abuse lawyer.
The personal injury attorneys at Brown & Brown are here to listen to your case, provide actionable steps, and help you determine the best way to both protect your loved one and ensure he or she is provided the compensation they deserve following nursing home abuse. Call us today for a complimentary consultation to learn more.