Nursing homes are designed to be facilities where elderly and vulnerable members of society who are ill and aged can receive the level of care that they need. While this may be the intent behind nursing home care–and the primary reason that family members put their elderly loved ones into nursing homes–it doesn’t always work out like this. In fact, nursing home abuse is a serious problem in Massachusetts, leading to many resident injuries and even deaths each year. If you have a loved one in a nursing home in our state, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with some of the common injuries that are associated with nursing home abuse–

  1. Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers refer to painful sores on a person’s body that are the result of the skin being damaged due to continual and extended pressure. These sores commonly form on the elbows, heels, and hips, and can be prevented by ensuring that a person doesn’t stay in one position for too long. Unfortunately, pressure ulcers often disproportionately affect elderly nursing home patients who are unable to move without assistance. If your loved one develops pressure ulcers, this is a strong warning sign that they are not receiving the level of care that they deserve. 

  1. Slip and Fall-related Injuries

While slips, trips, and falls are common amongst the elderly (in fact, fall injuries are a leading cause of death amongst elderly adults), they are not inevitable. To be sure, most fall-related injuries could be prevented by ensuring that:

  1. A property is maintained in a reasonably safe condition; and
  2. Elderly persons receive care and assistance in moving from one location to another.

Bruises, bone fractures, head injuries, and other fall-related injuries are all a sign that nursing home abuse could be occurring; a further investigation is warranted. 

  1. Dehydration/Malnutrition 

While not characterized as an acute injury, dehydration and malnutrition are serious physical conditions that often indicate abuse in a nursing home. A nursing home staff has a duty to ensure that residents are getting the proper nutrition that they need (as well as medical care). If this duty is neglected, an elderly person may suffer a serious deterioration in condition. 

What to Do if You Notice Any of the Above Injury Types

If you notice pressure sores; weight loss or other signs of dehydration/malnutrition; or bruises, bone fractures, or any other fall-related injuries, your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse. The first thing that you should do is to report your concerns to a nursing home manager and attempt to talk to your loved one. If necessary, do not hesitate to file a complaint with the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification Complaint Unit.

You should also think about calling a lawyer. You may be able to bring forth a nursing home abuse case to recover compensation for damages related to the abuse.

Reach Out to Our Massachusetts Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today

At the office of Tetzel Law, LLC, our Massachusetts nursing home abuse lawyers are here to serve you. Please call us today at 617-933-3858 to learn more about how we can assist you and to schedule a free consultation.