If you are concerned about a family member or other loved one in a Virginia nursing home or assisted living facility, you may be wondering how to spot abuse or neglect.  Sadly, many homes and facilities will try to cover up nursing home abuse by claiming that an elder’s problems are simply the result of old age – not neglect.

Note: Bed Sores are NOT Inevitable – They Are a Sign of Poor Care


Here are some signs to look for if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect in Virginia:

  1. Staff shortage: What does a staff shortage have to do with abuse and neglect, you might wonder.  These days, as the economy continues to struggle many nursing homes and assisted living facilities are looking for ways to cut costs.  One way is to cut down on staffing levels, especially on nights and weekends.  However, studies have shown that residents in understaffed nursing homes are more likely to suffer from neglect or abuse than residents in homes with proper staffing levels.
  2. Bedsores: We’ll say it again: bedsores are not an inevitable part of growing old and being immobile.  Bed sores – also known as pressure sores or decubitous ulcers – can be avoided with proper care and nutrition.
  3. Unexplained weight loss: It is not uncommon for elderly people to lose a little weight, however there is a difference between natural weight loss and weight loss that is the result of neglect.  If a resident is not given enough food or the right kind of food, they can suffer from malnutrition or even dehydration.
  4. Unexplained bruises or cuts: If a nursing home resident is hit, or if he or she falls due to lack of supervision, bruises or cuts can result.  If your loved one displays any unusual bruises or lacerations, he or she should be medically evaluated to determine the cause.
  5. Falls: If a nursing home resident is not properly supervised, he or she could fall, resulting in serious injuries.  The nursing home staff should keep an eye on residents and ensure that they are given the care they need to stay safe and not fall.  If a home is not doing everything they can to prevent falls, then there is a problem.

These are just a few signs you can watch for if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect in Virginia.  Also look out for excessive restraint use, unsanitary conditions, a change in your loved one’s mental or emotional outlook, or a feeling that something just isn’t right.  Please contact our office if you would like to speak confidentially with a skilled nursing home abuse attorney in the Culpeper or Warrenton area.

Andrew Thomas
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Civil litigation attorney in Virginia and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

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