If you have a relative who is residing in a nursing home that you suspect is being neglectful or abusive, one of the first things you can do is check your loved one for signs of physical injury or duress. Be suspicious if he or she appears to be suffering from malnutrition or dehydration. Also look for bed sores, skin tears or bruises on his or her body.
Your loved one's emotional state could also provide clues that there is abuse going on. For example, take note if he or she has become withdrawn, is no longer participating in activities or has not been able to function as well as usual.
However, an assistant professor of geriatric medicine warns that such signs are not necessarily indicative of abuse. The unfortunate fact is that you loved one is in a state of declining health, and it is possible that the symptoms of this decline could manifest themselves in ways that are similar to the results of abuse. Therefore, you will need evidence that abuse or neglect occurred if you wish to pursue legal action.
If your loved one should ever be seriously harmed while at the nursing home, the facility's staff owes you a thorough explanation of what happened. If you suspect that the incident was preventable or the result of a malicious act, it is very important that you follow up and learn all you can about what happened and about the quality of care that the facility is providing.
In such cases, it can be difficult to get the answers that you need. As such, you may want to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The attorney can look into the matter for you and act to help get your loved one appropriate compensation. The attorney could also help you file a civil lawsuit if the case warrants more serious action.