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Nursing home neglect isn't always obvious


People in California who have parents or loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living facilities know that there is nothing more heartbreaking and frightening than some of the extreme cases of elder abuse that have been reported over the last few years. Stories of traumatic physical and even sexual abuse have made their way into the news in our state as well as the rest of the country.

Stories like these send a shiver up the spines of those with loved ones in nursing homes, and cause many people to pay extra attention to the care and condition of their family member in such homes. But even those who are vigilant about the care their family members receive should be aware of even the most minor warning signs, which could be indicative of a deeper, more serious problem.

One of the main warning signs to family members is bruising, broken bones or other injuries. These may be obvious signs of mistreatment and should never be ignored. Nursing home patients are often brittle and likely to suffer more slip and fall injuries, but even if a loved one claims their injuries are due to a self-inflicted fall, people shouldn't stop their investigation there. It is possible that such injuries, even slip and falls, could have been avoided if proper care and attention had been given. Or worse, it's possible that the victim has been threatened, coerced or manipulated into taking the blame for their injuries. It's an unfortunate fact that as people get older they become less mentally sharp and more susceptible to the powerful effects of fear, pressure and just plain old memory loss.

If a person suspects nursing home neglect or abuse, they need to start taking diligent notes, thinking through timelines and asking questions. They also may want to call an experienced personal injury attorney for information on taking the next step to protect their loved ones. Nursing home neglect lawyers can help examine each client's case on an individual basis, to determine whether they have a cause of action no matter how simple or complicated the matter may be.

Source: Visit our elder abuse page to learn more about the rights of nursing home residents and their families.

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