What If Your Parent Is Being Abused In A Nursing Home?

When your parent lives in a nursing home, you expect him or her to be safe from harm. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you suspect that your parent is being victimized, here is what you need to know. 

What Are the Signs of Abuse?

Part of protecting your parent while he or she is living in a nursing home is being able to recognize the signs of abuse. It is important to note that abuse is not limited to physical harm. Your parent could also be subjected to emotional abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect. 

The warning signs of abuse can vary. However, there are some signs that commonly occur. Those signs include: 

  • Withdrawal from family, friends, and social activities
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Injuries, such as fractured bones, sprains, and bruises
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Soiled bedding
  • Bedsores and ulcers
  • Unexplained financial transactions

Even if none of these signs are present, it is possible that your parent is being mistreated. Rely on your instinct and take action.

What If You Suspect Abuse?

Your first step if you suspect that your parent is being abused is to protect him or her. Contact Adult Protection Services and file a complaint. You also need to report the suspected abuse to the facility director of the nursing home. The director is legally obligated to investigate your allegations and comply with the state's investigation. 

You also have the option of filing a lawsuit against the responsible party to recover compensation for injuries and damages that your parent suffered. 

Who Is Responsible?

If you are planning to file a lawsuit, you need to know who to hold responsible for your parent's abuse. The obvious choice is the nursing home. Even if an employee is responsible for the abuse, the nursing home was responsible for overseeing its employees to ensure that they were not harming patients. 

However, there is a possibility that you can hold other parties responsible for your parent's injuries. For instance, if your parent is being mistreated by an outside contractor who provides services at the nursing home, you can hold the contractor and his or her employer responsible. 

If your parent's injuries were the result of malfunctioning equipment, such as a poorly designed wheelchair, you could even hold the manufacturer of the chair responsible. 

To determine the best way to proceed after learning your parent has been abused, consult with a personal injury lawyer. He or she can help you explore your legal options and help you take action.