Making the decision to put an elderly parent or loved on in a nursing home is almost always an extremely difficult decision and requires a significant degree of trust in nursing home administration and staff. In most cases, the reason a person goes into a nursing home is the fact that they are unable to care for themselves, which makes nursing home residents vulnerable and dependent upon others for their basic daily needs.
Unfortunately, sometimes, the very people that are entrusted to care for older adults in nursing homes intentionally mistreat them. Nursing home abuse is a significant problem in the United States, and each year a substantial number of facilities are cited for mistreating their residents. Unfortunately, the National Center for Elder Abuse reports that the extent of the problem is unknown and that many instances of it go unreported.
Loved Ones are often the First-Line of Defense
In many cases, the reason that nursing home abuse goes unreported is that elders are too scared or embarrassed to report it themselves. In some cases, they may not even be aware of the fact that nursing home abuse is occurring. As a result, loved ones of nursing home residents should familiarize themselves with the signs of abuse in order to protect them from mistreatment. Some of the more common signs of nursing home abuse include the following:
- Bed sores
- The unnecessary use of restraints
- Under medication
- Over medication
- Unexplained injuries
- Unsanitary conditions
- Emotional withdrawal
If you see signs of abuse, you should report it to the nursing home’s management immediately. In the case that you believe that there is an immediate risk of injury, call your local law enforcement agency. In addition, you should report the matter to the state agency responsible for consumer protection or nursing home regulation in your state. In Michigan, you can call the Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services. In addition, you should make notes regarding the issue that made you suspect that abuse was occurring, including the following facts:
- What caused you to suspect abuse
- The date of the incident
- The names of others who also observed the issue
- Other information that may be important to an investigation
Call a Michigan Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
If you believe that your loved one has been mistreated by nursing home staff, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. For a free case evaluation, call Michigan Injury Lawyers today at 313-GET-HELP or send us an email through our online contact form.