Common Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

Nursing home abuse happens every day in Tennessee. It is an unfortunate fact that the number of nursing home negligence cases is increasing. Partly, this is due to a larger Tennessee nursing home population as Americans are living longer. Partly, this neglect and abuse is due to large, private company purchasing Tennessee nursing homes and not providing adequate staff, training, or resources. Though finding any single cause for the nationwide rise in abuse is simplistic, nursing home neglect and abuse in Tennessee or anywhere should not be tolerated.

With nearly two million Americans living in long-term care facilities, Congress has enacted federal nursing home regulations. Those regulations provide that a nursing home resident “has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.” The regulations also define nursing home abuse and neglect.

Abuse: An intentional infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, care/service deprivation or punishment that results in physical harm, pain or mental anguish

Neglect: A failure, intentional or not, to provide a person with the care and services necessary to ensure freedom from harm or pain; a failure to react to a potentially dangerous situation resulting in resident harm or anxiety.

The first step in preventing Tennessee nursing home abuse is to know the signs. Nursing home abuse can be physical, emotional, or simple negligence. Whatever the form, nursing home abuse should be reported. Some common warning signs that could indicate abuse or neglect at a Tennessee nursing home are:

PHYSICAL NURSING HOME ABUSE
  • Unexplained Falls
  • Broken bones
  • Bedsores
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of weight or appetite
  • Wounds, broken skin, or bruises
  • Other possible physical abuse
EMOTIONAL NURSING HOME ABUSE
  • Any sudden behavioral change
  • Any unusual behavior
  • Self-Abuse
  • Agitation
  • Becoming withdrawn or refusing to communicate
  • Reluctance to speak in front of staff members
NURSING HOME NEGLECT
  • Skin discoloration, including red or dark areas (bedsores)
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Medication withheld or excess given
  • Incorrect body position
  • Lack of assistance with eating and drinking
  • Unsanitary and unclean conditions
  • Dirt, soiled bed, fecal or urine odor
  • Frequent illness, and the illness is not promptly reported to the physician and family
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain; other signs of malnutrition
  • Infections

If any of these warning signs of abuse or neglect exist, you should make a formal compliant with the Tennessee nursing home’s staff and maintain a record of this complaint. If signs exist, or if your Tennessee loved one mentions abuse or repeated neglect, you should seek the guidance of one of The Higgins Firm’s qualified Tennessee nursing home abuse lawyers. We put our clients first in everything that we do. We will work with you to gather evidence including insurance information, medical records, and more to help you make the best case for your claim. We stand steadfast by our clients and will fight for your claim.

For more information on Tennessee nursing home abuse, our Nashville law offices online or call us at 800-705-2121 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.