Millions of elder abuse cases are reported every year, the majority of which are found in nursing homes or assisted care facilities. Unfortunately, far too many occur within the state of Oklahoma.
Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Griffin Reynolds & Associates have years of experience handling Oklahoma nursing home neglect cases. If you suspect someone you care about is experiencing abuse at the hands of a nursing home facility and its staff, we can help. Call us today at 405-721-9500 for a 405-721-9500 for a free consultation.
Difficulty in Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can occur in forms other than just physical abuse orneglect. Due to their very nature, these different forms of abuse are sometimes harder to recognize and can go unnoticed for months or even years.
Some nursing home residents are hesitant to disclose instances of abuse out of fear that the abuse will worsen or because they don’t want to burden their families. Adding to the complexity, some nursing home residents may not be able to discuss the abuse due to physical or mental limitations.
Difference between Neglect and Abuse
The distinction simply boils down to the intent of those providing the care.
Neglect occurs when the caregiver fails to provide the patient with basic needs like water, food, and medical treatment. This is particularly true of nursing homes that are understaffed or underfunded.
Abuse, on the other hand, occurs when there is deliberate harm done by the hands of the caregiver. This abuse can be individual where there is a single bad actor in the home or systemic where it spans across the entire staff.
Nursing home neglect and abuse occur at alarming rates even though nursing homes and assisted facilities are obligated to provide their residents with adequate supervision and medical care based on the needs of the individual. For Oklahoma’s elderly who often have previously existing health problems that require treatment, this neglect and abuse can have deadly consequences.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
While physical harm is the most apparent, abuse may not be limited to just physical contact. It may also include any of the following:
- Emotional and psychological abuse – emotional distress caused by verbal or nonverbal means
- Sexual abuse – unwanted and nonconsensual sexual acts, including photographs
- Neglect – failure to provide the basic needs necessary for comfortable living
- Abandonment – desertion of an elderly person for an extended period or in an isolated location
- Financial abuse – improper or illegal use of their assets or property
- Self-neglect – when an elderly patient threatens their own well being
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The best way to protect your loved one is to know the signs of neglect and abuse and stop the malicious behavior as soon as possible.
Some of the common signs of neglect include:
- Bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Dehydration or malnourishment
- Sudden weight loss
- Unsanitary conditions
- Poor personal hygiene
- Recurring illnesses or infections
Signs of physical abuse include:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns or other injuries
- Abrasions around the wrists or ankles that may indicate the use of physical restraints
- Untreated injuries or other medical problems
- Sudden depression or social withdrawal
- Sudden fearfulness or caretakers
- Damaged or missing clothing
Indicators of emotional or psychological abuse include:
- Apprehension of caregivers
- Abrupt depression or social isolation
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Self-destructive behavior
- Sudden episodes of emotional distress, such as crying
- The onset of habits such as rocking, thumb-sucking or finger-biting
Symptoms of sexual abuse include:
- Bruises or other marks around the breast or genital regions
- Unexplained infections of the genitalia or sexually transmitted diseases
- Torn, bloodied or stained undergarments
- Stained or bloodied bedding
- Sudden difficulty walking or discomfort sitting
Signs of financial exploitation include:
- Confusion about the state of finances or financial transactions
- Unexplained financial withdrawals or overdraft fees
- Requests for additional cards linked to bank accounts
- Request to alter the power of attorney or change an account beneficiary
- Sudden addition of new individuals authorized to access financial accounts
Nursing Home Abuse Oklahoma Attorney
You place your trust in these professionals and facilities to properly take care of your elderly loved one. In cases where you suspect that they are being neglected or abused, it is crucial that you act quickly to bring those in charge to justice. Here at the Law Offices of Griffin Reynolds & Associates, our attorneys will work around the clock to ensure that you and your loved one are fairly compensated for any abuse or neglect that may have occurred.
If you suspect that a loved one is experiencing any signs of neglect or abuse at the hands of their entrusted caregivers, contact the Law Offices of Griffin Reynolds & Associates at 405-721-9500 for a free consultation.
Our attorneys have handled Oklahoma nursing home neglect cases for many years, and have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the best help possible in fighting for you and your loved ones. Call us immediately for a free consultation.
Please contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.