Nursing home abuse is criminally underreported each year across the United States. Recent studies show that up to 1 in 4 cases of physical or sexual abuse or neglect aren’t reported. With corporations taking over the operations of these facilities and a shrinking number of qualified people to care for elderly patients, it’s getting harder to assure those patients’ safety.
In an attempt to maximize profits, corporations are cutting back on staff and hiring individuals without the necessary skills because they’re willing to work for lower pay. This often leads to disaster. The Allegheny County nursing home abuse attorneys at SMA Law want to help physically and emotionally injured patients who have been harmed by their caretakers or nursing homes.
What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse?
The most important thing you can offer your loved one in a nursing home is the vigilance to investigate their care. Sometimes signs of abuse or neglect can be confused with other causes. You’ll often find, however, that other signs of care, such as cleanliness, can make it more obvious.
Some common symptoms of nursing home abuse are:
- Your loved one is suddenly more sedated
- There is a foul odor or smell of waste
- You find fleas, lice, or dirt in the residence
- Wounds and cuts go untreated
- Your loved one has bruises on their groin or buttocks
- Your loved one suffers a sudden weight loss
Another compelling red flag is when nursing home policies don’t allow you to see your loved one alone. If you believe there are signs of mistreatment, complain to management. If treatment gets worse instead of better, remove your loved one from the home as soon as possible.
Another sure sign of neglect is bedsores, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers. These wounds form when a patient has been lying in the same position for weeks. Bedsores can be life-threatening as they eat away at the flesh’s deep tissue, causing severe injury to elderly victims.
There are four stages of a bedsore:
- A red mark on the skin
- A sore or blister
- A deep purple bruise that is soft to the touch
- A life-threatening open wound
It is vital to catch the signs of a bedsore early to protect your loved one’s health. If they have contracted a bedsore in any stage, don’t wait – take them out of the home immediately and contact the Allegheny County nursing home abuse attorneys at SMA Law.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
If your loved one has suffered elder abuse, you’re not alone. Approximately 240,000 instances of elder abuse happen in the United States every year. Even when victims are eventually rescued, they remain three times more likely to pass away within a few years. Abuse and neglect can be devastating for victims and their families, and recovering from abuse shouldn’t cost the victims anything out of pocket.
You and your loved one deserve a lawyer you can trust. The legal team at SMA Law Group will fight to help you recover financially and emotionally. We know that you need someone who will provide frequent answers about your case while protecting your legal rights. Since victims are often immobile, we are willing to come to you when circumstances require us to meet face-to-face.