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Nolan Elder Law and Estate Planning, LLC Blog

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Identifying Elder Abuse and Neglect

What are the signs of elder abuse?

Recently, three nursing home employees were arrested for neglecting an elderly patient.  A grand jury issued indictments against the three women after horrific evidence emerged that the employees failed to check on a resident overnight then lied about it.  When staff finally checked on the bedridden resident, they discovered she had suffered 100 ant bites during the 11 hours that she was left alone by the negligent staff.   

Sadly, this Alabama case is far from isolated.  Thousands of incidences of elder abuse occur each year, and the rate of elder abuse appears to be on the rise.  Our Birmingham, Alabama elder law lawyers encourage anyone with an elderly relative to be aware of the signs of elder abuse and neglect. Contact our office if you suspect your loved one is a victim of abuse.

Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect

Elder abuse and neglect can take many forms.  Neglect is perhaps the hardest to recognize because it may occur slowly and not leave clear physical markers. If your loved one resides in nursing home care, you can help to quickly identify instances of neglect by making frequent, unexpected visits to the nursing home.  Be aware of the potential signs of abuse and neglect, and report any suspected abusive behaviors.  Signs of abuse and neglect could include:

  • Sudden decline in physical health or mental state
  • Frequent bed sores
  • Soiled bed sheets or clothes
  • Fear of certain staff members or residents
  • Unexplained bruising or cuts
  • Confusion or fatigue that could signal overmedication
  • Dental issues
  • Frequent infections
  • Loss of hair
  • Missing personal items
  • Changes to the elderly patient’s will
  • Sudden emotional withdrawal
  • Unusual weight loss

If you suspect your loved one is being abused while in nursing home care or at the hands of a home health aid, it is important that you take swift action.  Report the abuse so that proper investigations are performed.  Contact our elder law attorneys right away, as your loved one may be able to take legal action against the negligent nursing home or caregiver.


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