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How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse in Arizona

Posted on June 1, 2022 in

When we place elderly loved ones in nursing homes, we do so because it’s best for them. They’ll get the care and support they need which most of us aren’t able to provide from professional caregivers in the nursing home. We trust the nursing home with our elderly loved one expecting patient and reliable care. Nursing homes should be committed to quality and safe care of elderly patients. Unfortunately, that commitment is not always honored and our trust may be violated.

What is Nursing Home Abuse and What Are the Signs?

The Administration of Aging defines elder abuse as “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.” Elder abuse can be broken up into the following categories:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse in nursing homes occurs when a resident suffers bodily harm, pain, or impairment due to mistreatment or neglect. Signs of physical abuse include:

  • Unexplained bruising or other wounds
  • Malnutrition
  • Abrasions around wrists or ankles
  • Bedsores (a big health danger)
  • Frequent infections
  • Hygiene issues
  • Bone fractures
  • Burn marks

Our elderly loved ones are already vulnerable because of their age and common related health conditions. Nursing home staff members are meant to make them feel cared for and comfortable. However, nursing home negligence occurs more often than it should. Untrained staff, overworked staff, understaffing and other forms of negligence contribute to the abuse elderly adults face in nursing homes.

Emotional Abuse

Elderly emotional abuse can be challenging to catch because the signs are not as visibly apparent as physical abuse. Emotional abuse can make the elderly resident feel humiliated, unimportant, uncared for by insulting or demeaning them, depriving them of care, or other non-physical but harmful abuse. Some signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Isolation and withdrawal from others
  • A tense relationship with nursing home staff
  • Depression
  • Unusual changes in behavior
  • Abrupt mood changes
  • Low self-esteem
  • Frequent crying
  • Sudden onset of anxiety and fear
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Anger or resentment

Sudden outbursts or a sudden lack of interest in things may not seem like a big deal if it happens occasionally. However, these emotional responses can be indicators that there is a more significant issue at play.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact with an elderly adult. Signs of this form of abuse include:

  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Torn or bloody clothes
  • Pain when sitting down
  • Fear or anxiety around a specific person
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

It’s important to trust your instincts to identify elderly abuse. If you feel something is wrong, that your elderly loved one doesn’t seem like themselves, it may be time to investigate the situation to ensure your loved one is safe in their nursing home. Investigation can take many forms, and should be done thoughtfully with recognition that some independent evidence is often needed. Our Jensen Phelan nursing home abuse lawyers can help.

Work with Our Arizona Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Jensen Phelan Law Firm

At Jensen Phelan Law Firm, we have over 40 years of experience fighting against elder abuse, including successful jury trial results. We have the experience, resources, skills, and passion needed to hold abusive nursing homes legally responsible. Our injury specialist attorneys understand that the safety and care of your elderly loved one requires the best possible legal representation, which is why we are proud that nursing home abuse is one of our specialties. You can schedule a consultation today at (928) 778-2660 or fill out our contact form.