Unsure If Your Loved One Is Being Abused or Neglected? Watch for These Signs of Neglect or Abuse
The signs of neglect and abuse are not always obvious. Abuse can take many forms, including emotional, psychological, financial, physical, and sexual.
Sometimes, unexplained bruises are a sign that physical abuse is happening. In cases of emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, the symptoms can be more subtle and challenging to uncover. Many victims do not report the abuse to family members or nursing home staff because they feel it would burden their families. Other victims may feel shame or guilt and refuse to speak up because of embarrassment. Often, abusive caregivers threaten elderly residents with violence or harm if they report the abuse. And some caregivers target elderly residents who can’t advocate for themselves. Residents with cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s are particularly at risk.
Because of all these factors, it’s crucial to recognize some of the potential signs of abuse and neglect:
- Broken Bones
- Changes in mood, behavior, sleeping, or eating patterns
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Frequent illnesses or infections
- Frequent trips to the ER or medical clinic
- Lack of hygiene
- Missing items of value
- Multiple or unexplained falls
- Refusing to cooperate with specific caregivers
- Sudden change in their financial situation
- Sudden onset of a sexually transmitted infection
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Unexplained marks, bruises, or burns
- Weight loss
- Withdrawing from favorite activities or pastimes
- Withdrawing from family or friends
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Queens, NY
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, document any evidence and contact the proper authorities. Your report may result in fines for the facility and hopefully improve conditions for future nursing home residents.
The New York State Department of Health, Division of Nursing Homes, and ICF/IID Surveillance handles violations of state and federal regulations for nursing facilities. You can contact their Nursing Home Complaint Hotline at 1-888-201-4563 or fill out an online complaint here.
To ensure your loved one is protected, you should also contact a nursing home abuse lawyer right away. They will advise you and your loved one on your legal rights and remedies.
Legal Options If Your Loved One Died Due to Neglect or Abuse in a Facility
Many elderly individuals live in nursing home facilities because they require specialized care. These individuals may already be in a fragile physical state. Abuse and neglect can worsen their health, leading to death.
If your family member passed away while under the care of a nursing home and you suspect neglect or abuse, contact an experienced Queens nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. You may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility to seek compensation on behalf of your loved one.
Under New York law, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by the “personal representative” of the decedent — typically the administrator or executor of the decedent’s estate. The case must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death. Contact our attorneys immediately if you believe abuse or neglect in a nursing home caused your loved one’s death.
How an Elder Abuse Attorney Will Assist You with Your Claim
If your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home or another facility, taking legal action might feel overwhelming. An elder abuse attorney will help you with your claim by:
- Reviewing your case and determining who is responsible for the abuse or neglect
- Consulting with medical experts
- Securing crucial evidence to build a solid claim
- Negotiating aggressively for the compensation your loved one deserves
- Preparing and filing the necessary legal documents
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary