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How Nursing Homes Try to Hide Signs of Abuse and Neglect

Nursing homes stand to lose financial support from Medicare and Medicaid and also face legal action from victims if they are found guilty of neglecting residents. They are very much motivated, then, to do whatever it takes to hide any type of abuse occurring. For victims and families of victims, recognizing the signs that a nursing home may be hiding abuse and neglect is critically important, though challenging to do.

If you believe that your family member is being abused, report it. Contact a Georgia nursing home abuse lawyer from Julia A. Rice Attorney at Law & Affiliates for immediate help and to learn about your possible claim.

Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

First, know the signs of abuse in your family member or friend. These are some of the most common early indicators that something is not right.

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Bruises or wounds that are unexplained
  • Clothing that is not changed daily
  • New medical conditions
  • Changes to finances
  • Missing money or assets
  • Changes to a will or estate plan
  • Changes in a person’s mood and behaviors

Remember that a person in a nursing home may find it hard to communicate that abuse is occurring. That is why, if you notice these changes, you should seek out immediate help.

How Does the Nursing Home Hide This Abuse?

Nursing homes have a range of policies in place to document most interactions with residents. Yet, there are many instances in which this is not done. You cannot rely on these documents to be accurate descriptions of what care your family member is receiving. Consider these common ways that nursing homes hide the abuses they cause:

  • They lie. They simply lie about what happened or how it happened. They may say that a resident did something they did not. They may even blame dementia or the resident not telling the truth.
  • They change physical evidence. In some situations, staff members or even administrators of the nursing home may hide clothing with blood on it. They may destroy videos that show abuses occurring. They may take other steps to get rid of any evidence that may show that abuse occurred.
  • They do not report it. When an injury occurs, it is expected that a nursing home will communicate with the family about this. Yet, when it is neglect or abuse-related, they may simply not provide any information or updates. Omission, in this case, can be just as dangerous.

They may change records to show that a person received care. Other times, they say or do nothing, expecting that you will not know what is occurring. All of these instances are common, not rare occurrences in nursing homes.

As a family member with a loved one in a nursing home, it is critical that you take action to investigate any type of abuse that you suspect is occurring. Do not assume that even the nicest of nurses or caring administrators is not going to do what they can to protect their jobs and businesses from claims of such abuse.