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How to Recognize Nursing Home Abuse

July 14, 2021

West Virginia is the second most elderly state in the country and the percentage of our population over 65 continues to increase. Unfortunately, nursing home and assisted living facility abuse and negligence reports are on the rise throughout the United States, including in West Virginia.

There are certain standards and regulations in West Virginia that nursing homes and assisted living facilities are required to follow for the care and treatment of their residents. Unfortunately, for many facilities in West Virginia, the nursing home and assisted living facilities do not follow the required standards and regulations leading to nursing home and assisted living facility abuse and neglect.

Older adults with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive impairments are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms and anyone with a loved one in a nursing home should know the signs and symptoms of abuse. Psychological or emotional abuse, as well as sexual abuse, may not produce obvious physical signs but may lead to changes in behavior.

Many clients call our firm and ask “How do you know what to look for?” The following are warning signs of abuse and neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts or other injuries;
  • Unexplained weight loss and malnutrition;
  • Development of bed sores/pressure sores;
  • Hospitalization for a broken bone or similar injury;
  • Falls, fractures or head injuries;
  • Decline in personal hygiene;
  • Unexplainable changes in mood or behavior, such as anxiety or fear;
  • Dehydration;
  • Prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water;
  • Seeming overly tired, sedated or heavily medicated;
  • Resistance to being left alone;
  • Frequent illnesses that are not promptly reported to the physician or family;
  • Reluctance to speak in staff members’ presence;
  • Sexual abuse; and
  • Poor living conditions.

You should also know what steps you can take to report elder abuse or to begin the process of filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit. If you suspect a family member is being subjected to abuse, you have to contact a firm that is experienced in the area. Our Charleston nursing home abuse lawyers at Salango Law has the experience to handle these types of claims and will fight to ensure your loved one recovers the financial compensation they deserve.