Before you placed your loved one in a nursing home, you likely toured the facility to make sure it met with your standards. However, many such places will clean up their acts during visiting days, only to have their lax standards return when the families go home.
Investigators in Arkansas recently identified a number of “red flag” conditions and behaviors that are commonly associated with elder mistreatment. These include specific characteristics of the facility, the physical condition of the patient, and behaviors of the staff and administrators.
A few common signs that may indicate elder neglect or abuse are:
- Undocumented injuries (including fractures or bruises)
- Documented but untreated injuries
- Multiple occurrences of untreated pressure sores
- Disregard for medical orders
- Poor hygiene of residents (including soiled beds and untrimmed fingernails)
- Lack of proper resident dental care
- Ailing, drugged, or malnourished residents
- Presence of bruises on residents who cannot walk
- Bruising in unusual locations or in an unnatural pattern
- Family complaints and evidence of past improper care
- Substandard care for residents whose family members do not visit often
- Unchanged bed linens
- Strong odors of urine or feces
- Overflowing or irregularly emptied trash cans
- Rotting food problems (including meals left in rooms for multiple hours)
- Past problems with staff members or resident abuse
- Incomplete or inconsistent findings in patient medical records
- Inconsistencies in statements given by different people (such as the family, staff, and administrators)
- Suspicious circumstances surrounding a death (such as the reported time of expiration and condition of the body)
Unfortunately, many cases of elder mistreatment go unreported due to lack of communication between the family and resident (such as when the patient is in a coma or has dementia). Even after a loved one has died as result of nursing home abuse, the medical officer will often rule that the death was accidental unless the family requests an abuse investigation.
The attorneys at Gray and White can get you justice and peace of mind by investigating the circumstances of your loved one’s death. To find out if you have a valid KY nursing home abuse case, call us today at 800.634.8767 or fill out the contact form on the top of this page to have your legal options explained at no cost to you.