Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss of Nursing Home Red Flags

One day, after a visit to your loved one in a nursing home, you find yourself feeling a bit uneasy about the visit. Certain things just seemed “off.” You try to rationalize that your loved one is losing some of his memory with their advanced age and maybe, what he is telling you, it not quite the whole truth or a bit of an exaggeration. When you mentioned your concerns to one of your loved one’s caregivers, she is quick to point out your loved one’s frailty and possible onset of dementia. The caregiver’s explanation seems to fit with what your observations, but you are still left with a nagging feeling that just will not go away.

Sadly, if you are worried about the care that a loved one is receiving in a nursing facility, you are not alone. It can be very difficult for a family member to recognize signs of elder abuse because many of the signs do coincide with mental deterioration. However, if you have even the slightest misgiving that your loved one may not be receiving proper care or is being abused, it is critical to act swiftly on those feelings. Do not dismiss what your gut is telling based solely on what the caregiver is telling you.

One of the most often reported signs of elder abuse is a change in the elder’s personality or behavior. Signs of this can include the elder acting depressed or suddenly being uncommunicative. He or she may also have withdrawn from their usual activities. These are all potential clues that your loved one could be experiencing emotional or physical abuse or neglect.

Increased tension or arguments between the elder and his caregivers is also another common sign of abuse. Maybe your loved one does not like a particular caregiver or acts markedly different when a particular caregiver enters the room. Again, these are not proof of abuse, but they do provide you with reason to follow-up and keep a watchful eye out. You will also want to watch your elder for following:

  1. Lack of privacy during visits. The inability to talk to your elder without the presence of a caregiver can indicate that the caregiver is trying to exert control over what the elder may tell you.
  2. Bed sores. The presence of bedsores (pressure ulcers) can indicate that the elder is not being moved often enough.
  3. Unexplained injuries. When asked, staff is unable to give an explanation as for how bruising, or other sores occurred.
  4. Failure to give the elder proper doses of medication, either over or under-dosing.
  5. Change in appearance. Check to see if your elder appears dirty, unkempt or dressed inappropriately.
  6. Physical changes. If your elder has lost weight, it is possible he or she is being malnourished or is suffering from dehydration.

Lastly, you will want to take note of the facility and see if any changes have occurred since your loved one became a resident. Pay particular attention to the staff. Has there been a high staff turnover? Does the staff seem frantic and rushed? Do call lights and phone calls go unanswered for long periods of time? Is the staff friendly and offer detailed explanations to your questions or do you feel like you are being brushed off or dismissed? If your gut tells you that something is amiss, trust your gut, because abuse is not always glaringly obvious.

If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home negligence or abuse it is importance that you speak with an experienced Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible. Proving a case of nursing home negligence or abuse requires key knowledge of the law and proper diligence to investigate the facts. The Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. have helped countless injured nursing home victims around the area, both in Kansas and Missouri. Our attorneys know how to win a case. To find out how the attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can help you, contact our office at (816) 472-4673 to schedule a consultation. At Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. we put our clients first.


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