It’s the holiday season and many people will be visiting friends and loved ones in nursing homes and care facilities. Aside from visiting and sharing holiday joy, it provides an important opportunity to be on the lookout for any signs that a loved one may be suffering abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, there are far too many seniors who are not okay and are experiencing elder abuse. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that between 1 and 2 million Americans aged 65 or older have been subjected to some type of abuse or mistreatment.
Elder abuse can be physical, financial, mental or emotional. Family members should look for signs of abuse when they visit over the holidays including the following:
- Pressure ulcers (bed sores).
- Unexplained bruises, cuts or burn marks.
- Inadequate personal hygiene.
- Decrease in weight or signs of malnutrition.
- Broken glasses.
- Ripped or torn clothing.
- Missing money or possessions.
- Mood changes, including depression or anxiety around any particular nursing home staff member.
- Dirty or unhygienic living conditions.
These are just some of the signs that a nursing home is not fulfilling its obligation to provide an acceptable level of care for a senior. During holiday visits, be on the lookout for potential red flags or signs of trouble that could indicate some kind of elder abuse or neglect. If you suspect elder abuse, you need to take action. It is far better to be cautious and ask questions if something doesn’t seem quite right. Those who suspect abuse can report their concerns to Adult Protective Services or seek assistance from a nursing home abuse attorney.
As a partner with D'Arcy Johnson Day, Andrew D'Arcy has been involved in some of the nation’s most high-profile cases and investigations. His practice includes serious automobile accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death and product defect cases. Andrew has been personally responsible for numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of his clients. He has been recognized by his peers as an "AV" rated attorney, the highest possible rating given by Martindale-Hubbell publication. Andrew has been named a "Super Lawyer" by New Jersey Monthly magazine each year consistently since 2013.