Birmingham, AL Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
When you leave your loved one in the care of a nursing home, you reasonably assume the home will look after his or her mental and physical wellbeing. It may be difficult to wrap your mind around nursing home abuse, but sadly, it happens every day. Nursing home employees take advantage of weak elderly residents, making them victims of physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse in the state of Alabama, contact an experienced Birmingham, AL nursing home abuse attorney for a free initial legal consultation.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Residents with dementia are particularly at risk of abuse since employees know the resident may not be able to remember the incident or people won’t believe them if they speak up. Elderly people with substantial assets are at risk of financial abuse, in which a nursing home employee may deceive the resident into giving him or her money. Financial and physical abuse may go hand in hand if the employee threatens physical pain if the resident does not obey demands.
Physical abuse can range from refusing to feed or clean a resident to striking the resident. Employees may grow impatient with residents and push or shove them around, leading to slip and falls and other types of serious injuries and accidents. Employees may also handle the resident too roughly, leaving fingerprint bruises on the upper arms. Intentionally leaving the resident in a dirty adult diaper or similar situation is also abuse and can lead to painful bedsores and infections.
Mental abuse occurs when an employee yells, disrespects, shames, or verbally abuses a resident. A resident can suffer greatly from mental abuse and become withdrawn from social activities. They may express feelings of fright, guilt, or depression with no explanation. Mental abuse can be difficult to detect. Paying attention to how staffers speak to each other can point to how they might speak to residents when no one is around. If they are rude or impatient, it can be a red flag for mental abuse.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The best way to pick up on nursing home abuse is to visit your loved one regularly. The more time you spend at the nursing home and talking with your loved one, the more you’ll be able to detect suspicious activity.
Signs of physical abuse can include:
- Unexplained injuries or visits to the hospital
- Burn injuries
- Bruising on the upper arms
- Bruising beneath clothing, where it wouldn’t normally be visible
- Skin abrasions from tight restraints
- Scratches or bite marks
Mental abuse can be more difficult to detect, but the more you visit your loved one, the easier it will be to discover. If your loved one has a sudden change in behavior or seems withdrawn, ask him or her what’s wrong. Though it may be easy to assume your loved one’s claims are due to dementia or Alzheimer’s – investigate the claims thoroughly before writing them off.
You can detect financial abuse by keeping a close eye on your loved one’s finances and assets. Know what bills are paid out of the account every month, and report unusual activity immediately. Never give your loved one’s financial information away. Even family members can engage in financial abuse.
Signs of sexual abuse can range from physical evidence, such as bruising on the thighs or difficulty walking, to emotional changes. Look out for feelings of shame or guilt, pelvic injuries, or bloodied undergarments for signs of sexual abuse.
Seek Legal Help From Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Birmingham, AL
The moment you suspect nursing home abuse, report it to authorities and get your loved one out of the facility. Then, contact a Birmingham, AL nursing home abuse lawyer to file an official claim against the facility. The Mitchell Law Firm, LLC, has experienced nursing home abuse attorneys who are dedicated to defending the rights of the elderly in nursing homes throughout Birmingham and can launch a full investigation into the facility. Contact us for legal help on behalf of your abused loved one.