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Nursing home abuse and neglect is all too common

The decision to place a disabled, injured or ill loved one in a nursing home is not easy for Kentuckians and for people across the nation. However, it is often necessary to ensure that the person gets the best possible care for their ailments. The goal is to enhance the person's quality of life by letting professionals handle all aspects from the basics such as bathing, eating and helping them to bed to the more complex matters like giving medication and providing therapy. Unfortunately, incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect are frequently reported. People who are concerned about a loved one who might be subjected to this treatment or see evidence of it having happened should know about signs and what steps they should take.

Recent stories have detailed how a woman with developmental disabilities was sexually assaulted in Florida. She became pregnant and miscarried. Another woman, 29, who was in a vegetative state became pregnant and gave birth in Arizona. The staff was unaware of her pregnancy until the baby was born. These prominent news stories have led to people wondering about the safety of their loved ones who are in a nursing home. In one investigation, it was found that citations were given to more than 1,000 facilities for mistakes and a lack of oversight to stop residents from being sexually abused from 2013 to 2016. These are the incidents that are known about. It is believed there are many more.

People should know about the signs of potential sexual abuse such as bruising, infections and bleeding. While physical evidence is useful and often blatant, there are other signals that this could be happening. If, for example, the loved one is behaving differently, has receded from group activities, is having issues with sleep and specifically avoiding workers in the facility, this could be a signal that there is abuse taking place. It does not necessarily need to be sexual, but could be any other kind of mistreatment and abuse.

Suspicion or clear evidence that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home can leave the feeling of guilt and fear. No one should be subjected to any kind of nursing home abuse or neglect. When there is a belief that this is occurring, the loved ones should call a law firm that specializes in nursing home abuse and neglect to investigate the claims, gather evidence and take the next step to hold the individuals who committed the abuse, those who allowed it to happen and the entire facility accountable. Calling for help is the vital factor in achieving justice.

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