As the baby boomers enter their golden years, the number of people needing elder care is going to reach staggering proportions. Because of this, it is more important than ever to be aware of the issues that face those people who have to spend their waning years in nursing homes. As distressing as it may be to think about, the abuse of the elderly occurs all too often. Because they are in a vulnerable position, many of them unable to speak up for themselves, it is up to the rest of us to be vigilant in looking for signs of nursing home negligence and abuse. As nursing home injury attorneys, Frenkel & Frenkel have seen their fair share of elder abuse and neglect. There are many factors that contribute to nursing home negligence, as such institutions are often understaffed, or hire workers who are underpaid and poorly trained. No matter what the cause, it is inexcusable. The abuse can be physical, emotional, or financial, but there are clear signs that it is happening, if you know enough to look.

    • Physical abuse is perhaps the most obvious type to spot. Look for bruises, burns, open wounds, or loss of weight. If the caretaker can not give an adequate explanation for things, that should be a red flag that something is not right.
    • Emotional abuse is more insidious. Still, there are clear signs. If your loved one becomes withdrawn or agitated, or demonstrates unusual behavior like biting, sucking, or rocking, be alarmed.
    • Be on the alert for neglect. Neglect manifests in poor personal hygiene, or increased illness, or malnutrition. Sometimes the neglected party develops bedsores, sometimes smells of urine, sometimes develops a compromised immune system due to lack of nutrients. The signs of neglect can be hard to identify, because they can be masked by the natural decline that accompanies old age.

If you suspect that someone you love is being abused or neglected, do not hesitate to take action. Contact a nursing home injury attorney to discuss your options. Allowing an elderly person to remain in the care of those who do not demonstrate the proper level of care can result in tragedy that is easily avoidable if detected in a timely manner.

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