When you entrust a nursing home with the care of your parent or other elderly family member, you should not have to worry that your loved one will suffer mistreatment. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect commonly occurs in Fort Wayne, Huntington and throughout Northeastern Indiana, leaving families with feelings of grief and betrayal of their trust.
However, if you suspect that a nursing home has abused or neglected your elderly loved one, you should not be left with a feeling that you are powerless. You can – and should – take steps today to protect your family member and seek full and fair compensation for your family. By standing up for your loved one, you can also protect other families from facing similar harm.
To learn more what you can do about nursing home abuse and neglect, contact Truitt Law Offices today and receive a free consultation about your case.
Richard Truitt is an experienced Fort Wayne nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer who has dedicated nearly four decades of his career to helping injury victims and their families. Richard and our legal team will know the way forward in your case and help you to pursue the justice your loved one deserves.
What are the Rights of Indiana Nursing Home Residents?
The Indiana State Department of Health lists the many rights of nursing home residents in our state. They include the right to:
- Be informed about and exercise their rights.
- Know about services and financial charges
- Participate in planning their care and treatment and to refuse treatment.
- Enjoy privacy and confidentiality of records.
- Control their finances and maintain their personal belongings.
- Be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including the use of chemical and physical restraints for purposes of discipline or convenience.
- Express grievances without fear of reprisal such as a discharge from the facility.
- Communicate freely with persons of their choice.
You and your loved one should know these rights and take action if you believe a nursing home in Fort Wayne, Huntington or elsewhere in Indiana has violated them. If you have any questions about your loved one’s rights or your rights as a family member, contact Truitt Law Offices.
Keep in mind: Your loved one may be afraid to report a violation of his or her rights or, due to a condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, your loved one may lack the capacity to communicate what has happened. For this reason, you should pay close attention to the care your loved one receives in a nursing home and be proactive when you detect red flags.
What are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
You may find it hard to believe that someone would harm your loved one in a nursing home in Indiana. However, if you observe the following signs of abuse and neglect, you should take immediate steps to address the situation:
- Cuts, bruises, fractures, burns or other injuries that the nursing home does not promptly report to your family, which may indicate that the facility is trying to conceal the misconduct of a staff member.
- Multiple bruises with the same shape or pattern, which may indicate that a staff member has struck your loved one with an object such as a belt.
- Marks around the ankles or wrists, which could indicate the use of physical restraints for the purpose of discipline or for the staff’s convenience.
- Bruising around the genital areas, which could be a sign that your loved one is suffering from sexual abuse.
- Insults or threats directed towards other residents, which may indicate that your loved one is being treated the same way when you are not present.
- Sudden depression, withdrawal, anxiety or other changes in behavior, which may be the product of a caretaker’s verbal insults and other mistreatment.
- Fear and anxiety around certain staff members, which could be the result of suffering emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
- Pressure sores and other infections that do not heal.
- Sudden weight loss, which may indicate that the nursing home is failing to properly feed your loved one or to assist your loved one with eating.
- Wandering and elopement from the facility, which is a sign that the nursing home is failing to adequately supervise your loved one or to provide proper security.
- Dry, flaky skin, which may be a sign that your loved one is suffering from malnourishment or dehydration.
- Poor physical hygiene such as unwashed hair and dirty clothes and bedding.
- Development of symptoms that should be addressed by medication, which could indicate that the staff is failing to administer the medication as prescribed or may even be stealing the medication (pain medication theft, in particular, has become a serious problem in Indiana nursing homes).
- Disappearance or loss of personal belongings, including clothes, jewelry, keepsakes and other items of value.
- Unusual financial transactions, including explained or unnecessary credit card charges or withdrawals from a checking or savings account.
At Truitt Law Offices, we understand how traumatizing nursing home abuse and neglect can be for your loved one and your family. When you contact us, we will review what has happened to your loved one and carefully guide you through the process that lies ahead.