The World Health Organization has discovered elder abuse is on the rise worldwide, with nearly 1 in 6 elderly people experiencing severe abuse and neglect. Because the world’s older population is increasing, this means more people than ever may be at risk for substandard care and outright abuse, whether at nursing homes or in private residences. Additionally, nursing homes are currently facing a severe staffing shortage here in the United States, with more than 10,000 nursing homes now providing below-average care for their residents.
In spite of these grim statistics, it’s still shocking to hear about cases where caregiver abuse and negligence injured the elderly. In recent weeks, one such case has come to the forefront of our attention, as four former caregivers at St. Elizabeth Healthcare were charged with the abuse of an Alzheimer’s patient back in 2015.
According to reports, three of the caregivers had inappropriately restrained the now deceased patient, Vincent Sorg. Placing too much weight on the victim, the three caregivers failed to notice his obvious distress, and a fourth observed the event taking place without interfering. The family members of Mr. Sorg filed suit upon learning the caregivers at St. Elizabeth had used such heavy restraints.
A longtime Alzheimer’s sufferer, Mr. Sorg did not die as a direct result of the abuse, but in the lawsuit his family’s legal counsel noted his health greatly deteriorated after the injuries. Now, each of the four former caregivers has been charged with knowingly abusing an adult, and all have been indicted by jury for their actions.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE SIGNS OF NURSING HOME ABUSE
Although some measure of justice was served in the case of Mr. Sorg, nothing can ever truly compensate for the pain and suffering he and his family experienced. If you have a loved one in a Kentucky nursing home, you may be wondering how you can protect them from nursing home abuse and neglect at the hands of caregivers. Thankfully, there are many ways you can identify nursing home abuse before it becomes serious enough to threaten your loved one’s life.
Here are some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse:
- Your loved one seems unusually despondent or troubled, or prone to rapid mood changes.
- The room is dirty or unkempt.
- Your loved one is not well-groomed, and there are signs of poor bodily hygiene.
- Medications are frequently missed, or seem too extreme given their conditions.
- Your loved one has unexplained sores, rashes, bruises, or ulcers on their body.
- You witness the nursing home staff being unduly curt or harsh with other elderly residents.
- Residents frequently wander the halls or attempt to leave.
- Your loved one frequently mentions how much pain they’re experiencing.
Ultimately, if your loved one is being abused, you may need to seek professional legal counsel with experience defending the elderly. It can be difficult to prove some instances of elder abuse, but at Hare Wynn, our nursing home abuse attorneys have the skill and the experience to ensure your claim is thoroughly investigated – and the guilty parties are held responsible for their actions.