Abuse in nursing homes is serious, no matter who causes it. Sometimes, fellow nursing home residents can harm others. Recognizing the potential signs of abuse in nursing homes is critical in getting the right kind of help for your loved one.
Recognizing abuse by another resident involves observing your loved one’s appearance, words, and actions, including how they act around other nursing home residents. Suppose you suspect abuse by another nursing home resident. In that case, you can seek the advice of an attorney to help you with your case.
Who Can Cause Abuse in Nursing Homes?
Sometimes nursing home abuse can come from staff members who are supposed to care for residents’ needs. Other times, visitors or nursing home volunteers can cause abuse. Finally, other nursing home residents can cause abuse.
Some residents have greater physical strength and independence than other residents. They may use this to take advantage of other weaker or impaired residents who cannot take care of themselves without help. Your loved one can experience abuse from a roommate, a fellow resident’s visiting family member, or by acquaintances at the nursing home. After experiencing abuse, getting your loved one help is essential.
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Types of Abuse That Can Occur in a Nursing Home
There are many types of abuse, but common forms that can happen between nursing home residents include the following:
- Physical abuse, which occurs when a resident attacks or injures your loved one
- Sexual abuse, which occurs when a fellow resident forces your loved one to watch or participate in sexual acts
- Emotional or psychological abuse, which occurs when a resident demeans or insults your loved one
Abuse can happen in different ways such as these, and sometimes, more than one type of abuse can happen simultaneously. It is also possible that the same perpetrator can commit more than one kind of abuse (e.g., sexual abuse and physical abuse).
Signs to Look for if You Suspect Abuse by Another Nursing Home Resident
The signs of abuse may vary, and you may see several signs that indicate abuse. Sometimes, your loved one may be able to tell you about abuse, but in other cases, they might be unable or afraid to do so. Signs of abuse can include:
- Bruises, cuts, scratches, or other wounds
- Torn clothing or damaged personal items, such as glasses
- Bruises in the genital area or on the breasts
- New development of sexually transmitted diseases or infections
- Changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, agitated, or fearful
- Dehydration and malnourishment
Certain signs of abuse may be present regardless of who commits the abuse. If you suspect another resident is causing the abuse, you can observe how your loved one acts when they are around other residents.
Do they seem withdrawn or more fearful around certain residents? Do they avoid participating in certain activities if specific residents are present? These factors can help you identify who may be causing the abuse. You also should listen to your loved one. If they report anything to you, listen to their concerns and follow up regarding any incidents. Take written notes of what your loved one tells you. You may be able to take photographs of evidence that indicates abusive behavior.
Actions You Can Take After Abuse by Another Resident Occurs
Getting help after your family member has suffered abuse at the hands of another resident can be daunting. Sometimes, the situation will involve working closely with nursing home staff to resolve the problem. For example, your loved one may need to move to a different room, or staff may need to implement extra safety measures. You can also move your relative off the property and find another place for them to love.
If your loved one is in immediate danger, call the police. You can also contact adult protective services to get your loved one help. While some abuse warrants criminal investigation, other times, you may be able to pursue compensation in civil court as well. Consulting with an attorney can be helpful in getting compensation in cases of nursing home abuse or neglect.
For example, you could recover compensation for your loved one’s emotional anguish, pain and suffering, and medical costs related to the abuse. We will review all your losses and advise you on what a financial settlement or court-ordered award could look like in your case.
Get a Free Consultation Today in a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Case
Abuse by fellow nursing home residents is never acceptable, and you don’t have to handle the legal system alone. The team at Brown & Barron is ready to help with your case. We will carefully review your case’s facts and your legal options with you. We will work with you and your loved one to get you your deserved compensation.
You can contact us today to get started with a free consultation.
Contact Brown & Barron online today to schedule a free case review.