Ask anyone, and you’ll likely find that they either know someone or have heard of someone who has suffered medical neglect or outright abuse in an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Sexual assaults, slips and falls, medication errors and infections are some of the many situations that these facilities’ residents may have to contend with due to others’ negligence. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) compiled a list of the most common nursing home residents’ most common adverse events in a 2019 report.
Injury risk factors that nursing home residents face
NCEA data indicates that nursing home residents are most vulnerable to suffering physical abuse in these residential facilities. Their data shows that an estimated 29% of this population suffer unexplainable bruising, skin tears or bone fractures every year in the U.S.
That same data set captures how psychological abuse is almost as prevalent as physical violence in these assisted living facilities. NCEA’s data shows that approximately 21% of nursing home residents will fall victim to psychological abuse at some point. One of the telltale signs that your loved one suffers from mental turmoil is through personality changes, fearfulness and changes in their social behavior.
The combination of gross medical neglect and financial exploitation accounts for at least 14% of nursing home residents’ abuse claims. The withholding of medication, ineffective hygiene, dehydration and unexplained weight loss or wounds may all fall under the umbrella of gross neglect.
Sexual abuse ranks fourth at 7% in terms of why nursing home residents file abuse claims. Loved ones may find out about the trauma that their nursing home resident relative endured by seeing bruising along their chest or genitals, stains on the underwear or by learning that they’ve contracted a sexually transmitted disease.
How you should proceed after discovering your loved one’s nursing home abuse
If there’s one detail that you should know about neglect or abuse, it can significantly impact a victim in the long-term. You owe it to both your loved one and any nursing home residents that come behind them to consult with an attorney here in Memphis to learn about the legal options that Tennessee law allows you to pursue.