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Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Mesa

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a contractual duty of care to provide residents with quality care and personalized services to maintain their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Unfortunately, when these facilities fail to meet those standards, abuse can occur.

The best way to protect your loved ones in a nursing home is to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of nursing home abuse so that you can prevent future harm. A skilled and compassionate Mesa nursing home abuse lawyer could provide you with the support and legal guidance you need. By speaking with an experienced injury attorney, you better your chances of a successful claim.

Elderly Residents’ Rights in Mesa

Arizona nursing home laws require that residents are be treated with a certain standard of care. In order to protect the health, interest, and rights of residents, the Arizona Administrative Code R9-10-711 states that nursing home residents have certain rights including the right to:

  • Be free of abuse, neglect, exploitation, manipulation, coercion, and physical or chemical restraints
  • Manage their finances
  • Choose their physician and participate in decisions about their medical care
  • Private, unimpeded visits and communications
  • See a lawyer or social worker

Nursing home abuse often occurs when facilities willfully or negligently fail to respect these rights. Nursing home abuse can come in the form of physical or emotional injuries, sexual assault, financial exploitation, or other types of abuse. Each type of Mesa nursing home abuse has unique warning signs that families should be aware of.

Physical and Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Physical abuse is one of the most common types of nursing home mistreatment and can result in long-lasting and life-threatening injuries. Sexual abuse in nursing homes is also a type of physical abuse that is often underreported. As a family member, it is crucial to look for unexplained changes in a resident’s physical or emotional condition. Examples of physical abuse in a nursing home include assault, battery, failure to provide medical care, sexual assault, failure to provide adequate nutrition, clothing, or shelter, and chemical or physical restraints for punishment.

It should be noted that not all abuse is detectable through physical symptoms. However, some common warning signs of physical abuse in a Mesa nursing home include:

  • Bedsores
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Unexplained bruises or injuries
  • Unexplained genital infections or venereal disease
  • Bruising around the wrists, ankles, torso, or legs from restraints

If these signs are present, it is essential to investigate immediately and alert the facility administrator and the designated state agency. It is also imperative to remove the loved one from the living facility as soon as possible.

Signs of Neglect and Emotional Abuse

Nursing home abuse can also come in the form of neglect or verbal abuse. Ongoing emotional abuse may be more challenging to detect, as nursing home staff may intimidate a resident by yelling, threatening, or humiliating them.  Neglect is more common in facilities with inadequate staffing and where residents have cognitive disabilities, like dementia, mental illnesses, or physical disabilities. It is vital to take note of behavior changes, including signs of withdrawal or sudden timidity.

Other warning signs of emotional abuse may include personality or behavior changes, depression, or nervous. Warning signs of neglect may include malnutrition, dehydration, drastic weight loss, isolation, bedsores, staff delaying or refusing to let visitors to see the resident, and staff not allowing the residents to be alone with visitors.

Financial Exploitation of Elderly Residents

Another common type of resident abuse in nursing homes is financial exploitation. Financial exploitation of a resident occurs when an individual takes the money, property, or assets of a resident improperly or illegally. Abuse may include billing residents for services or medications they did not receive, forging signatures on checks, illegal credit cards use, and more. Signs of financial exploitation may include sudden changes in regular banking habits, large withdrawals, abrupt changes in financial documents, and unexplained disappearance of personal possessions.

Talk to a Mesa Attorney If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

A dedicated attorney could help you understand the warning signs of nursing home abuse in Mesa in order to protect your loved one from mistreatment. If you notice any changes in your loved one’s behavior or suspect misconduct, reach out to an attorney right away. With strong legal guidance, you could ensure no other residents suffer from this abuse. Schedule your case consultation today.

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