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How to identify patient abuse

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2021 | Personal Injury |

People who live in Indiana assisted living residences, nursing homes and other types of care facilities often have minimal agency to ensure that their own rights are protected. The crimes that are perpetrated against these helpless residents are sometimes difficult to spot in spite of their severity.

Since patients who experience neglect or abuse depend on their assailants for their care, it’s difficult or impossible for them to speak up for themselves. The Indiana Attorney General’s Patient Abuse and Neglect program help give protection to those who are most vulnerable. A select team from the attorney general’s staff is trained to identify the signs of nursing home neglect. For members of this team, it’s the entirety of their job to investigate potential cases of abuse and neglect and ensure that these serious crimes don’t go unspoken

Abuse comes in different forms

A resident of a nursing home can be subject to a wide range of abuse. Most instances of patient abuse fall into one of the following categories:

• Physical abuse
• Pain medication theft
• Emotional abuse
• Patient neglect

Signs of neglect or abuse

Each of these forms of abuse comes with its own signs. When there is a long delay before a caretaker reports an injury to the patient’s family, it’s a strong indication of physical abuse. Pain medication theft may be indicated if the caretakers are impaired or falsely reporting the amount of medication being administered.

In the event of emotional abuse, a patient may appear withdrawn or passive because they’re fearful of their caretaker. Signs of patient neglect include weight fluctuation, poor hygiene, or unusual food requests.

Reporting abuse

No matter which particular form of nursing home neglect you suspect is happening, the best thing you can do is call 911. You can also call the Indiana Attorney General’s Abuse and Neglect hotline at 800-382-1039.

Those living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are often the most at risk of being neglected or abused. It’s important to know the signs of the various forms of patient abuse so that you can take the appropriate action the moment you see it.