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Watching for the signs of nursing home abuse

It is important to watch for signs of nursing home abuse and for family members of elderly patients in nursing homes to be familiar with the legal resources available to protect them. Family members may oftentimes be able to observe problems in the nursing home setting earlier on so it is helpful to know what to watch for.

Signs of nursing home abuse can include emotional and behavioral changes including frequent tearfulness, agitation or lethargy; physical evidence of abuse including skin tears or bruising that is not accounted for; bed sores, pressure sores or sepsis; poor hygiene which can lead to bed sores; evidence of physical abuse such as restraints or evidence and reports of physical or sexual abuse; broken bones or frequent falls; evidence of malnourishment or dehydration; overmedication or failure to administer the correct medications in a timely manner; evidence of delayed medical treatment and poor monitoring of residents which can result in residents getting lost.

The legal process provides resources for victims and their families to hold nursing homes accountable when one's family members have been victims of nursing homes abuse or neglect. Depending on the circumstances, victims and their families may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, loss of companionship, society, love and affection and pain and suffering damages.

The transition into a nursing home setting can already be troubling and even traumatizing for families in some circumstances. When a nursing home has failed to properly care for a loved one, it is important for family members to be familiar with the legal protections available to them.

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