Warning Signs of Virginia Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is rampant in facilities across Virginia. Even if the staff of these facilities does not intend to cause any harm to their patients, employing undertrained staff, not listening to complaints, and poor procedures place many residents at risk for exposure to neglect. When this neglect results in an injury, that resident has the right to demand compensation.

Of course, it is better if this abuse never happens in the first place. Family members and friends of residents in nursing homes should be aware of the warning signs of Virginia nursing home abuse. This can allow them to report the abuse to a supervisor or if necessary to contact the State or police. For more information, consult with a seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer.

Typical Signs that a Resident has Suffered Abuse

Residents in nursing homes place their entire wellbeing into the hands of the staff at the facility. It is essential that this staff be properly vetted and trained to meet the needs of patients. Something as simple as providing a balanced diet and enough water is essential to their wellbeing. If the staff fails to do this, the resident may become malnourished. Family members should watch the weight of their loved ones. If a resident has lost a lot of weight in a short period of time, this may be an indicator of abuse.

Visiting friends and family should also be sure to watch how the resident acts around staff members. A hesitation to talk openly in front of them or even visible revulsion may indicate that this staff member has intentionally harmed the resident. Check that patient’s body for any unexplainable bruises or cuts. This may be a sign that the staff has used improper restraining methods or illegal disciplinary measures.

Finally, simply asking the resident how things are going may be revealing. Victims of abuse may be hesitant to raise complaints on their own for fear of reprisal. However, speaking with a trusted friend or family member may give them the courage to come forward.

What You Can Do if You Suspect Abuse

The first line of defense against abuse in nursing homes may be that facility’s management or head nurse. In some instances, the people who run the facility may not be aware that there is a problem at all. Often, simply firing the at-fault employee may bring an end to the abuse.

However, it is sadly common that the negligence present in the facility is systemic. The management is either unable or unwilling to do anything about the problem. When this is the case, a family member may file a complaint with Virginia Adult Protective Services (APS). This agency has the ability to investigate and prosecute any allegation that a nursing home resident has suffered abuse.

Finally, a concerned friend or family member may go directly to the police. Allegations of intentional abuse or even severe neglect may violate any number of Virginia’s criminal laws. The police can put a stop to the abuse immediately and produce a report that can serve as powerful evidence in a future nursing home abuse lawsuit.

The Warning Signs of Virginia Nursing Home Abuse are Numerous

Nursing home abuse is something that no one should be forced to endure. The intentional mistreatment of residents or neglect that causes an injury can have a severe impact on a patient’s health and mental wellbeing. If a person suspects that any resident of a nursing home has been subjected to this abuse, they have the right to come forward.

By recognizing common signs of nursing home abuse such as malnutrition, changes in demeanor, and unexplainable injuries, friends or family members can speak up to prevent further harm. In addition, people injured in this way have the right to demand compensation for their injuries. Contact an attorney today to learn more about the warning signs of Virginia nursing home abuse.