When you place your elderly loved one in a nursing home, you expect he or she will be cared for properly. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Nursing homes may cut corners and provide substandard care to residents. Staff members may also intentionally harm residents. Our Raleigh Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys know this and want your loved ones to get the care they deserve. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a North Carolina nursing home, you need to act right away. You can report the suspected mistreatment to your county’s Department of Social Services. You can also take legal action to protect your loved one’s rights. Contact Hardison & Cochran. A nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm will review your case for free. By talking with us, you should get a better understanding of the legal options available to you.
How Can You Detect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
In many cases, you won’t be able to know for sure if your loved one has been abused or neglected until after there has been a thorough investigation into the case. Neglect and abuse of the elderly happens every day and can be physical, emotional or simple negligence.
North Carolina’s Aging Population
In 2014, there were nearly 23,000 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable older adults received by North Carolina’s 100 county departments of social services, according to the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services. North Carolina’s is undergoing a big change as the state’s 2.4 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 enter retirement. By the year 2025, 90 of North Carolina’s 100 counties will have more people ages 60 and older than young people ages 0 to 17, according to the N.C. State Data Center estimate.
Wake County is projected to experience a 156 percent increase in its population of seniors in the next two decades. A North Carolinian who is 70-74 year has an average life expectancy of 15 additional years, according to the N.C. Center for Health Statistics. Many older people will need long-term care when they can no longer live independently. Older adults have a right to live with dignity and safety
However, the National Center on Elder Abuse says that certain signs may indicate that abuse or neglect is occurring and prompt you to take action. These signs include:
- Physical abuse marked by bruises, cuts and burns
- Emotional abuse reflected in sudden depression or withdrawal from usual activities
- Sexual abuse indicated by bruising around the breasts or genital area
- Financial Exploitation marked by unexplained bounced checks or unpaid bills
- Neglect that can be seen in uncleanliness, bed sores or injuries that are not addressed.
It may break your heart to see your loved one mistreated in a nursing home or assisted living facility. However, you should know that you can take steps that will stop the abuse or neglect. You can also seek to hold the wrongdoers financially responsible for the harm they’ve caused.