Washington state has one of the highest rates of nursing home abuse in the country, a statistic none- too reassuring for anyone whom has a loved one in such a facility. Sadly, it’s estimated that only one in five incidents of abuse occurring inside of a nursing home is reported. Nursing home abuse affects Seattle’s most vulnerable community, and if your loved one has been injured at the hands of those who promised to take care of them, it is your duty to fight back.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Several types of abuse can occur inside of a nursing home. This includes sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and emotional abuse. Exploitation is yet another way that members of the elderly community are abused. Exploitation involves taking money or other valuables from the individual under false pretenses.
The elderly community is vulnerable to abuse for many reasons. Oftentimes, these individuals suffer from health problems or conditions or mental deformities that prevent them from defending themselves, and many times from letting someone know the abuse is occurring. Sometimes, the elderly community is perpetrated due to short-term memory loss, or because of an inability to stop the abuse. Sometimes, individuals in nursing homes do not have family who come visit them often, making it easier for this person to become a victim.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Regardless of the reason for elder abuse in a nursing home, it is wrong, and shouldn’t continue a moment longer than necessary. Pay attention to the signs of nursing home abuse, and do not hesitate to speak up if you feel something isn’t right. Signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Bruises/ marks on the body
- Damaged glasses
- Damaged property
- Open wounds/ punctures
- Patient isn’t being cared for properly, i.e. bathed, dressings changed, etc.
- Patient is displaying sudden changes in their behavior, seeming distant, no longer interested in activities, etc.
- Genital infections
- Genital bleeding/bruising
- Untreated health problems
How to Respond to Nursing Home Abuse
Several steps should be completed if you suspect that your loved one is being abused. First, stop the abuse by calling 9-1-1 if you loved one is in immediate danger, or by filing a complaint with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Be sure that you also talk to the social service team at the nursing home facility. Finally, get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer Seattle.
A nursing home abuse lawyer ensures there is a consequence to this senseless crime, fighting for the rights of your loved one and their well-being. Compensation will never change what’s happened, but it can make life a little bit easier. An attorney can help you get money for medical bills, pain, and suffering, and more. The attorney also ensures the nursing home facility is punished, and does more to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. It is the justice that your loved one needs and deserves, and with a skilled attorney, will get.