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How to recognize nursing home neglect and abuse

Are you concerned about the wellbeing of a loved one who is currently staying in a nursing home? If you answered yes to this question, you're not alone. A lot of people across North Carolina have wondered if their loved ones are truly safe and happy in the nursing home or long-term care facility in which they reside. That's because this concern stems from news stories we hear regarding neglect and abuse that can occur at these health care facilities.

If you're like a lot of people here in Wrightsville Beach and across the state, you may not be able to explain the legal definitions for neglect and abuse. But even though this may be the case, most people can still recognize when it is happening. In today's post, we'd like to point out some warning signs of abuse and neglect, while also pointing out that these warning signs can lead to a personal injury lawsuit if you so choose.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Community Living, elder abuse can come in many forms. It can range from physical or sexual abuse, to exploitation, to outright abandonment and neglect. When facilities allow these activities to go on without remedy, they can be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit and may be forced to pay both compensatory and punitive damages.

Though elder abuse and neglect can come in many shapes and sizes, there are some warning signs that you can look out for. You might have a claim for compensation if you notice:

  • Broken bones
  • Bedsores
  • Bruises
  • Abrasions
  • Poor hygiene
  • Sudden change in emotional state
  • Abrupt change in finances

While these are not the only warning signs, we hope they give all North Carolina residents an idea of what to look out for if there are any concerns that a loved one is being neglected or mistreated at their nursing home or health care facility. As we explained above, these warning signs can be grounds for compensation, which may be obtained with the help of a skilled lawyer.

Source: Administration for Community Living, "What is Elder Abuse?" Accessed May 19, 2015

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Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP

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