A nursing home known nationwide for its lack of standards has, apparently, gotten worse.
A new state investigation alleges gross neglect of residents at the same facility where, in 2020, police discovered an onsite makeshift morgue. NJ Advance Media, which claims to have gotten a copy of the Health Department report, provided investigation details.
One resident, the news source says, allegedly complained in pain for almost an hour before someone helped them get their catheter unstuck from a wheelchair.
In another incident, a 55-year-old resident was allegedly left for dead after being discovered in cardiac arrest and not breathing. No one attempted to resuscitate them, the report claims, and no one called 911.
The nursing home, Woodland Behavioral Health and Nursing Center at Andover, is in New Jersey, but the story still hits close to home. Nursing home abuse is rampant across facilities in the U.S., and Alabama is no exception.
Nursing home residents don't always feel safe reporting abuse. They may not be aware it's even happening. This means that the families of abused residents are often surprised when the truth comes out.
That's why it's important for everyone to be aware of the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Signs of abuse and neglect
There are many different kinds of elder abuse that can take place at nursing facilities, such as physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse. Neglect and abandonment are two other types of abuse that are common.
Nursing home residents who are targets of abuse are usually female, older adults, with no family or friends nearby. People with disabilities or memory problems are also at a higher risk of abuse.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) identifies signs that someone you know may be being abused or neglected at a nursing home. If you notice some of these warning signs in your loved one, do not ignore them:
- Stops taking part in activities they enjoy.
- Looks messy or unwashed with dirty hair or clothes.
- Has trouble sleeping.
- Loses weight for no reason.
- Becomes withdrawn or acts agitated or violent.
- Displays signs of trauma like rocking back and forth.
- Unexplained bruises, burns, cuts, or scars.
- Broken eyeglasses or frames.
- Physical signs of punishment or being restrained.
- Develops bed sores or other preventable conditions.
- Develops sepsis from infected bed sores.
- Lacks medical aids like glasses, walker, hearing aid, or medications.
- Is facing eviction or has other notices for unpaid or overdue bills.
- Lives in hazardous, unsafe, or unclean conditions.
If you suspect your loved one is being abused, NIA suggests having a conversation with the victim about what's going on. They may be able to tell you who is abusing them, possibly a staff member or other resident, and how you can protect them.
Talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer
If you suspect a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it's critical that you have a clear understanding of your legal rights and options.
At Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC, we know how to help families in Alabama get the financial compensation and justice they deserve. We've recovered over $100 million for our clients and have decades of experience that we can put to use for you.
To learn more about how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. Our office is located in Birmingham and we proudly serve all of Alabama.