Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Washington, D.C.

By Peter DePaolis

Nursing home residents are some of society’s most vulnerable citizens and are routinely subject to abuse and neglect. Although we trust nursing facilities to take care of our loved ones, the reality is often quite different. Stopping abuse and neglect starts with recognizing the signs. And if you suspect harm is being done to a loved one who lives in a nursing home, you need a dedicated personal injury attorney to hold them accountable. You need Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP.

There are different forms of nursing home abuse and neglect. While most people associate these terms with physical harm or deprivation, other types include sexual, financial, and emotional or mental. Nursing home neglect usually means failure to properly feed, clean, or supervise a patient. The term can also apply to failure to protect a resident from another person living there or outside visitors or strangers.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Some of the signs that a family member is being abused or neglected in a nursing home include:

  • Unusual or unexplained physical injuries such as wounds, burns, blisters, and broken bones
  • Bedsores
  • Bruises
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Signs of sexual abuse and assault
  • Social isolation or withdrawal
  • Poor hygiene
  • Changes in behavior
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Unusual or unexplained financial transactions or purchases
  • Missing money and personal property

Nursing home abuse and neglect can happen anywhere, even in top-rated nursing homes. However, there are known patterns of conduct that tend to be present in facilities where abuse and neglect occur. They include:

  • Inexperienced or poorly trained staff members
  • Understaffing, meaning too many residents but not enough staff
  • Failure to abide by licensing requirements, or not being licensed at all
  • Neglectful or inattentive nursing home staff and employees
  • Failure of the facility to conduct proper employee background checks

Abuse and neglect are more likely to happen where the patient’s family does not regularly visit. Little or no family involvement allows the resident to be isolated and have no one to turn to in the event he or she is abused or neglected. Unscrupulous staff members tend to target residents who lack contact with the outside world. Therefore, the best way to prevent abuse and neglect is to visit your loved one.

By law, nursing homes are required to provide reasonably safe facilities for their residents. That means taking steps to protect them from abusive staff and residents, as well as neglect. If a patient is injured or killed because the nursing home failed to take such steps, it could be held liable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

To hold a Washington, D.C. nursing home liable, the injured victim must prove that the facility fell short of the duty of care owed to residents. Evidence of that failure might be the above shortcomings, along with innumerable other failures. Damages could include medical expenses for treatments that are necessary to help the patient recover.

Contact Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP Today

Our law firm understands how painful it is to find out your loved one has been injured in a nursing home. That’s why we go to work fighting for the rights of abused and neglected nursing home patients. If your loved one was victimized in one of these facilities, trust Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. Reach out to us to schedule a consultation today.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.