When an elderly family member can no longer care for themselves in their own home, and you’re not able to take them in to your home to care for them, you might make the decision together to take them to a nursing home so that they can get the care that they need while maintaining their dignity and their freedoms. Since older people are vulnerable, you’ll want to do your research and make sure the facility has a history of giving quality care to their residents.
Unfortunately, no matter how much research you do, you could be wrong about the safety of the long-term care facility you and your loved one chose. When the staff or other members mistreat your elderly loved one, you could use the help of our Mesa, AZ nursing home abuse lawyer. At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, we’re dedicated to protecting the rights of your elderly loved one and getting them justice for the pain they’ve endured.
Nursing Homes in Mesa, Arizona
It’s important to understand how many elderly people are in Mesa before looking into the facilities that are present in our city. According to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau, 17 percent of Mesa’s population are 65 years of age and over. While that doesn’t mean that all of those aged over 65 are in a nursing home, many who are in the higher ages could be.
The census also shows that 8 percent of Mesa citizens are aged 70 to 79 and 4 percent are aged 80 and up. These groups are higher percentages than the amount of people in these age demographics in Phoenix or Chandler. People in these demographics are much more likely to be in long-term care facilities because they are older and might not be able to care for themselves.
While there are plenty of nursing homes with great ratings in Mesa, other facilities don’t have as good ratings for the care that they provide. According to the Medicare nursing home locator, there are 20 facilities in the Mesa, AZ area that have a rating of below average or much below average.
Of these 20 nursing homes, 5 are listed as being cited for potential abuse. It’s important to protect your loved one from abuse as much as possible, but no matter how hard you try, their facility still might cause them harm. That’s when you’ll need a Mesa, AZ nursing home abuse lawyer to help you hold their long-term care facility accountable.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
When admitting your loved one into a nursing home, you should be aware of the types of abuse they might experience so that you know what to look for. When it comes to the types of abuse that your loved one might have suffered through, there are a few different kinds. Residents in nursing homes can be abused physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially.
Physical abuse happens when a staff member, fellow resident, or visitor uses force to harm a resident’s physical body. Examples could be hitting, pushing, and using physical restraints to cause bruising, broken bones, and other injuries to the body. Even if there aren’t visible injuries, if the patient experiences pain, then it could still be physical abuse.
Additionally, if a resident is neglected, that could also lead to bodily injuries. For example, neglect could lead to bed sores, poor hygiene, and malnourishment. These can all greatly affect an elder’s health and lead to them suffering from serious complications.
Sometimes the abuse can be emotional or mental. This type of abuse comes from verbal and nonverbal cues from staff, visitors, and other residents. Your loved one might be intentionally ignored, verbally berated, or otherwise emotionally manipulated, and this could cause them both mental and emotional distress. While their mental health will likely be affected by this, it can also lead to their physical health deteriorating.
Unfortunately, residents in nursing homes can also be sexually abused by staff and other people at their long-term care facility. Sexual abuse is classified as any unwanted sexual advances brought on to a person, and patients who are mentally incapacitated can also be sexually abused since they cannot consent at any time. If there is not consent for what happens, then it is sexual abuse.
Another way that the elderly can be abused is through being financially exploited. If they are unaware, sometimes staff and others will steal their valuables or steal money from them. When the patient is mentally incapacitated or unaware of what’s happening, the financial abuser might even convince them to sign over access to their bank accounts or control over their finances.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse to Look For
You might suspect that your loved one is experiencing one or more of the types of abuse listed above, but if you don’t know the signs to look for, then you might have trouble identifying exactly what happened. Here are some of the signs of nursing home abuse that you should look for when your loved one is acting strange in their long-term care facility:
- Unexplained bruises and broken bones
- Cuts and scrapes
- Poor hygiene
- Soiled linens
- Unclean room
- Old food
- Sudden weight loss
- Sudden isolation
- Trouble communicating
- Unexplained STDs
- Missing money
These are just the most common signs that your loved one is being abused by staff or other residents in their facility, but they might be exhibiting other signs. You know your loved one best, so if they’re showing any weird behavior that raises red flags, then you should voice your concerns. A Mesa, AZ nursing home abuse lawyer can help you stand up for your loved one and get them the justice they deserve.
Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm Is Here for You
Abuse in a long-term care facility can seriously escalate and lead to severe injuries for your loved one. If not reported, the abuse could continue for other residents as well and keep escalating. That’s why our Mesa, AZ nursing home abuse lawyer is here to represent your elderly loved one—we’re dedicated to protecting their rights.
Your family member shouldn’t have to suffer through any more abuse and deserves to recover financially for what they’ve endured. Reach out to our firm today so that we can get started on their claim.