Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in New Mexico

elderly woman sitting alone in wheelchairMany of our elderly loved ones lack the ability to advocate for themselves, or at least tell their friends or family members they are being abused or neglected. Given this unfortunate reality, it is vital for those who have elderly loved ones residing in nursing homes to know and recognize the signs of elder abuse. That way, you can take steps to protect your loved one and hold accountable those who abused or neglected your loved one.

At PKSD New Mexico, our years of experience and dedication have allowed us to secure millions in compensation for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.

Do you suspect your loved one was abused or neglected at his or her nursing home? If so, we encourage you to contact our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys in New Mexico to discuss your situation.

Request your FREE case review today. 505-677-7777

What Are the Types of Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse in nursing homes can be divided into four categories:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves the use of physical force to cause pain or injury. There are numerous examples of physical abuse of the elderly, including:

  • Punching
  • Hitting
  • Slapping
  • Kicking
  • Moving a resident around in a rough manner
  • Using physical restraints in such a way that residents suffer bruising
  • Choking or strangling
  • Biting

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse refers to behaviors or actions intended to cause an elderly individual to experience psychological harm or distress. Examples of emotional abuse include:

  • Yelling at a resident
  • Insulting a resident
  • Making threats
  • Intimidating a resident
  • Humiliation
  • Isolating residents from others
  • Treating residents like children
  • Ignoring a resident

Financial Abuse

This refers to the illegal or nonconsensual use of a nursing home resident’s property or assets. This often happens through outright theft, fraud or coercion.

Financial abuse could include:

  • Stealing money from the resident’s bank account
  • Forging signatures on financial documents
  • Stealing valuables from the resident
  • Coercing residents into making changes to their will, deeds or power of attorney
  • Making fraudulent investments with the resident’s money
  • Opening accounts in the resident’s name without their consent

Sexual Abuse

This is non-consensual sexual activity involving the resident, such as sexual assault by staff members, other residents or others who gain access to the nursing home. Sexual abuse can also involve coerced nudity and posting pictures of the resident on social media.

What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse often does not stop until others notice signs that something is going on. These are some of the common signs that a nursing home resident could be the victim of mistreatment.

Possible Signs of Physical Abuse

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns from hot objects
  • Broken bones, such as from a fall
  • Signs of restraint, such as marks on wrists
  • Sudden and unexplained injuries
  • Sudden decline in the resident’s physical health
  • Withdrawal
  • Fear around certain staff members

Indicators of Emotional Abuse

  • Withdrawal from normal activities or sudden changes in behavior
  • Fear or anxiety around certain staff members
  • Sudden onset of depression, which seems out of character
  • Unusual anger or sadness
  • Struggling to sleep
  • Reluctance to talk to you, especially in front of certain people
  • Unexplained loss of weight

Signs of Financial Exploitation

  • Sudden changes in your loved one’s financial situation
  • Frequent withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Spending that is out of character
  • Unexplained withdrawals or changes in banking practices
  • Missing personal belongings
  • Not having necessary items or services
  • Unusual or unexpected changes in power of attorney

Signs of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Damaged or bloody undergarments
  • Bruising on the genital area
  • Irritation of the genital area
  • Fear around certain individuals
  • Struggling to sleep
  • Sudden change in eating habits
  • Outbursts of anger that are out of character for your loved one

What is Nursing Home Neglect?

Neglect means a nursing home has failed to provide adequate care and meet the basic needs of one or more residents. These are some of the common examples of nursing home neglect:

  • Not providing necessary medical care
  • Delaying or forgoing medical treatment of an injury or medical condition
  • Not following the resident’s care plan
  • Failing to provide adequate food and water
  • Not assisting a resident with eating when he or she struggles to chew or swallow food
  • Neglecting to provide a safe and clean living environment
  • Failing to move a resident to avoid the development of bed sores
  • Failing to care for the resident’s personal hygiene, such as toileting, brushing teeth, showering and more
  • Ignoring residents when they ask for help or assistance, such as help getting out of bed or transferring from a wheelchair onto a toilet

What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?

There are numerous examples of nursing home neglect

  • Poor hygiene, such as unwashed hair or dirty clothes
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Unattended medical needs
  • Fall injuries
  • A dirty, disorganized room
  • Worsening medical condition
  • Bed sores
  • Depression

How to Respond to Signs of Abuse

If you suspect that a loved one is a victim of elder abuse or neglect, taking immediate action is crucial:

  • Document the Evidence: Keep a record of all signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect, including photographs and detailed notes.
  • Report Your Concerns: Contact nursing home management and, if necessary, local authorities or adult protective services.
  • Seek Legal Advice: An experienced lawyer can discuss legal options with you for protecting your loved one and pursuing justice. If we determine you can take legal action and you hire our firm, we can manage each step of the legal process.

Speak With Our Experienced New Mexico Lawyers Today

At PKSD New Mexico, we understand the profound impact that elder abuse can have on families. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, do not hesitate to act.

Contact us for a free consultation to explore your legal options. Let us help you protect those who cannot protect themselves. Our attorneys have secured millions on behalf of nursing home neglect and abuse victims.

Schedule your free consultation: 505-677-7777

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