Nursing Home Abuse in Kansas and Missouri

Nursing Home Abuse in Kansas and Missouriwheelchair-952183_640

With the increase in life expectancy and the continual advancements in modern medicine, more individuals are requiring placement in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Although many of these facilities throughout Kansas and Missouri provide exceptional care, some exhibit patterns of neglect and even abuse of their elderly residents. Sadly, many residents are unable to articulate instances of neglect or abuse.

Although exact numbers are not clear, the National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that 1 in 10 nursing home residents experience abuse or neglect. It is important to be aware of the warning signs of abuse and neglect. If you notice a pattern of these signs when visiting your loved one, contact a Kansas and Missouri elderly abuse lawyer for more assistance.

Neglect means that the basic needs of your loved one are not being addressed properly. Signs of neglect include:

  • A dirty appearance, including tears in clothing, food stains, incontinence stains. Bedding may appear soiled and there may be an odor of waste.
  • Bedsores on the body, which occur when an individual’s resting position is not changed regularly. These sores can become infected and will worsen without treatment.
  • Lack of nursing staff to meet the needs of the residents. Although Missouri laws are not as strict, Kansas laws require at least 1 direct care provider per 30 residents, and an RN or LPN working at all times.

If you have concerns that your loved one is being neglected, a compassionate elderly abuse lawyer in Kansas and Missouri can provide guidance based on your individual concerns.

Emotional Abuse Emotional abuse can occur when staff members shout, threaten, and use profanity to intimidate the elderly resident.

Some indications of emotional abuse include:

  • Distant behavior – your loved one may be extremely quiet, especially around staff members.
  • Angry behavior – clenching and grinding teeth, yelling, cursing, and aggressive behavior in a normally passive elderly resident.
  • Repetitive behaviors – rocking and repetitive movements often appear as the individual tries to self-soothe.

Emotional abuse can affect the quality of life, and can result in a change of behavior or personality. If you notice that your loved one’s demeanor has changed dramatically, or if you witness emotional abuse, an elderly abuse attorney can help you.

Physical Abuse  Physical abuse against the elderly or infirmed is an egregious act.

Signs of physical abuse include:

  • Bruises or abrasions with no explanation – elderly individuals are prone to bruising, however a pattern of bruises should cause concern. Abrasions may indicate that your loved one has fallen or been moved without care. If you notice any injuries, ask the nursing personnel for an explanation. If they cannot provide an adequate explanation, or you have lingering concerns, contact an elderly abuse attorney right away. Remember to photograph all suspicious injuries.
  • Refusal of hugging, handholding, or other contact – if an elderly resident suddenly refuses physical contact, this may be an indication that they are fearful of contact or that they are experiencing physical pain which may be due to abuse.

If you suspect a loved one is being abused or neglected, take action! Contact a Kansas and Missouri elderly abuse attorney today for a free consultation.

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