Signs & Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in West Virginia
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, there is simply no way to know exactly how many elders and nursing home residents experience abuse or neglect. We do know that the older you are, the more likely you are to suffer abuse or neglect, and we know that an overwhelming number of cases go undetected, untreated, and unenforced every year. If you have a family member in long-term care, be on the lookout for the following signs and symptoms of abuse. If you believe abuse or neglect may be occurring, talk to an experienced elder abuse attorney who can advise you on the proper steps to take to stop the abuse. In Princeton and southern West Virginia, contact the Bayless Law Firm for help.
Neglect & Abuse Signs and Symptoms
Any of the following signs could be indications of abuse or neglect. If you see these symptoms, take appropriate steps by contacting senior staff and administration at the nursing home, the state long-term care ombudsman, or a personal injury lawyer. Getting help from a lawyer ensures that your matter will be treated confidentially and that swift action will be taken without fear of retaliation or reprisal.
- Bedsores – If a patient with limited mobility is neglected and not moved, turned or shifted on a regular basis every day, dangerous ulcers or pressure sores can form
- Unexplained bruises, cuts or broken bones – Signs of physical abuse
- Bruises on the arms or legs occurring on both sides of the body – The patient may have been grabbed and squeezed by another person using both hands
- Marks or welts on the ankles or wrists – Physical restraints, which are unlawful unless authorized by a doctor for medical reasons, may have been used
- Unexplained weight loss – Malnutrition and dehydration are signs of neglect, or the resident may be physically abused by being denied food as a form of punishment
- Fear, anxiety or depression – These are common manifestations of verbal, psychological or emotional abuse
- Confusion or disorientation – These are other signs of dehydration or malnutrition
Note that many of the above symptoms can be explained as the result of falls, Alzheimer’s or weakness, or other conditions of aging, making it difficult to prove a case of neglect or abuse. If you suspect abuse or neglect, it is important to contact an attorney who can help determine the cause of the symptoms you are seeing. Other signs of abuse and neglect are listed on the Adult Protective Services website.
Stop Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
If you are a nursing home resident or family member of a resident who is being neglected or abused, we urge you to advocate for yourself or your loved one. Any person who suspects abuse or neglect may make a report to the DHHR 24-hour hotline at 1-800-352-6513. People who make reports in good faith are protected from liability. For the fastest response to stop abuse and neglect and hold those responsible accountable for their behavior, seek the help of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. In West Virginia from Princeton to Charleston, contact the Bayless Law Firm for immediate assistance.