Despite promising to protect and care for your loved one, nursing homes are responsible for the abuse millions of older adults face annually. Along with predictions that the global population of people over age 60 will double over the next 50 years, many anticipate a rise in elder abuse.
Still, abuse that occurs within the confines of a nursing home calls for accountability and damages to victims and their families.
Signs of nursing home abuse
Your loved one may not have the ability or desire to communicate the specific details of their mistreatment in a nursing home, but recognizing the signs of abuse can prevent further damage. Physical clues include weight loss, lacerations, bruises and bedsores that staff fails to address. In addition, fear of touch, agitation, anger or obsessive behavior may indicate emotional abuse.
It is vital to act quickly on your suspicions by relocating your relative. Next, you should file a complaint with your local protective services agency and the offices of the Attorney General and Inspector General.
Next, you must gather evidence proving that your relative’s physical and mental injury is directly due to the facility’s failure to meet its obligations and duty of care. A successful claim may lead to compensatory damages covering necessary medical treatment. A Kentucky judge or jury may also agree that a victim should receive uncapped non-economic damages for pain and suffering and the emotional toll from experiencing abuse. Defendants may also pay punitive damages and funeral and legal expenses when abuse leads to someone’s death or severe harm.
Nursing home abuse stories should not deter you from considering these facilities for yourself or your loved ones, but knowing how to proceed at the first signs of a problem can lead to a favorable outcome.