When you take a loved one to a nursing home, you expect them to get better care than you can give them at home. It’s often a tough choice, done out of love, because you can’t provide what they need.
The last thing you expect is for them to be abused while in the care of a medical facility.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and negligence happens all too often. It’s something you should be aware of so you can identify it and protect your vulnerable loved one while they’re in someone else’s care.
If you suspect nursing home abuse is happening to your family member, you need a Wyoming nursing home abuse lawyer with years of experience to help you protect your loved one’s interest. Schedule your free consultation to talk with our nursing home negligence attorney today.
Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Wyoming
When you think of abuse, you may think only of physical abuse as it’s the most obvious. However, there are multiple types of abuse in any situation. By knowing the different types of nursing home abuse, you can be more prepared to be extra cautious while your loved one is in the facility.
The types of nursing home abuse you should know about are:
- Physical abuse: Physical abuse is usually obvious because it may leave marks or other signs, but there are cases when a person is being physically abused and you can’t see any signs unless you know what you’re looking for. Another type of physical abuse that isn’t discussed is withholding medications or administering medications that the individual isn’t supposed to have. Additionally, unnecessarily strapping or chaining a person to a bed or chair is considered physical abuse.
- Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse is any action that causes fear, anxiety, or other negative emotion intentionally. It can be passive or active – ignoring someone’s requests or yelling at them. The caregiver may insult your loved one, tell them they aren’t loved, intentionally confuse them, or any other variety of actions that would put your loved one’s mental state in an undesirable state.
- Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse isn’t the first thing that comes to your mind when you put your loved one in a nursing home and wonder if they’re going to be taken care of. It may not come to your mind at all. Unfortunately, it does happen. Sexual abuse isn’t only physical contact between people, it’s also inappropriate comments or making a person get undressed unnecessarily in front of another person.
- Financial abuse: Financial abuse, also called financial exploitation, occurs when someone takes advantage of your loved one for monetary gain. This may be bank account or credit card theft, healthcare fraud, identity theft, or other scams. Financial abuse can look like someone openly stealing from your loved one, or it can be less obvious such as making up a charity that doesn’t exist. On the healthcare fraud side, the facility could make up charges that aren’t applicable to your loved one.
- Neglect or abandonment: Most of the abuse so far is caused when another person does or says something that has a negative, abusive impact on your loved one. But there are cases when doing nothing at all is also abuse – this is called neglect or abandonment. If you’re loved one’s needs aren’t being met, they don’t have clean clothing and bedding, or they’re left alone all the time, you may have a situation of neglect on your hands.
If you suspect any of the above is happening to your loved one, it’s important to determine what your next steps should be. That’s why you need Sean Olson, a Wyoming nursing home abuse lawyer who knows what to do in a case of elder abuse.
Signs of Nursing Home Elder Abuse in Wyoming
The signs of nursing home elder abuse will vary depending on the type of abuse as well as the individual situation. Some signs may be obvious, but others you may have to be very aware of your loved one’s normal state of being and actions.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Injuries including burns, broken bones, or bruises that aren’t easily explained or are happening too often
- Refusing to take medicine or reported overdoses
- The caregiver not wanting you to be alone with your loved one
- Signs of restraints on wrists or ankles when your loved one has no medical reason to be restrained
Signs of Emotional Abuse
- Unexplained changes in mood, behavior, or personality
- Showing signs of fear or anxiety that wasn’t present before and doesn’t have a new medical cause
- Hesitation to talk to you about how they’re doing or what they’ve been doing
- The caregiver not wanting you to be alone with your loved one
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Reports of injury or complaints about breasts or genitalia
- Sexually transmitted disease diagnosis
- Torn or stained clothing or bedding
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Nervousness for someone to touch them or reports getting undressed often
Signs of Financial Abuse
- Changes to powers of attorney or wills
- Changes to life insurance policies
- Missing money or personal property
- Unexplained charges or withdrawals on credit cards or bank statements
- Unpaid bills
- Unexpected change to living arrangements at the facility such as a roommate or new location
Signs of Neglect or Abandonment
- Lack of basic needs being met
- Bedsores or skin ulcers
- Poor hygiene
- Lack of expected medical treatment
- Soiled clothing or bedding
- Unclean living conditions
- Unpaid bills
It’s important to note that some of the signs of abuse can result when your loved one refuses care and abandons their own self care needs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be suspicious or ask questions. You are the advocate for your loved one’s wellbeing, health, and care so it’s important to be vigilant and cautious.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence in Wyoming
If you suspect nursing home abuse is happening to your loved one, the first thing you should do is contact Wyoming’s Adult Protective Services. You can request someone to look into your situation without presenting any formal proof something is happening – your case will be taken seriously.
Once you’ve contacted Adult Protective Services, you need to reach out to a Wyoming nursing home abuse attorney to help you determine what to do next.
Who is Liable for Wyoming Nursing Home Abuse Injury or Death?
If negligence or abuse happens at a nursing home, the facility may be liable because it has a responsibility to its patients. Usually, the nursing home is held liable for medication errors, inadequate training, understaffing, negligent hiring, or breach of regulatory or statutory obligations. The facility is also on the hook for the actions of its employees.
If your loved one dies in the nursing home as a result of the care they did or didn’t receive there, you may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
An experienced Wyoming nursing home negligence lawyer can advise you of how the nursing home may be liable, if other parties may have liability as well, and what you’ll need to do to prove they’re responsible.
Talk to Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Wyoming for Help with Injury or Death of Your Loved One
You don’t have to handle this alone – and you do have options for protecting your loved one. An experienced attorney at Olson Law Firm, LLC who has built cases like yours before will know exactly what you need to do from beginning to end. Sean Olson, the trusted Wyoming personal injury lawyer, has worked with many clients who have been in your shoes and he can help you too. Schedule your free consultation today. We can help with car accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death cases, premises liability, and much more!
Wyoming Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
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