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The Scourge of Nursing Home Abuse

According to an article in the Lincoln Journal Star, 390 cases of elderly abuse were confirmed last year in Nebraska. Nationally, it's estimated that one in 10 elderly people are the subject of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. In addition, a Cornell University study estimated that for every case of abuse reported, 14 to 24 go unreported. These are shocking figures.

Placing a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility is a difficult decision that requires a great deal of discussion for family members. In the end, any final decision is made with that loved one's health and safety in mind. Often, family members don't have the physical and medical skills to safely perform tasks like moving a patient or administering medication. Nursing homes are supposed to provide such care in a sensitive manner. Unfortunately, the statistics tell us this is not always the case.

Advocate organizations like the Nursing Home Abuse Center urges relatives to watch for signs of abuse when visiting an elderly person. These signs can include:

  • Unexplained injuries like bruises, cuts, and abrasions
  • Listlessness or overly nervous behavior
  • Appearing frightened and reluctant to talk
  • Disappearance of personal items or money
  • Soiled clothes or bed clothes
  • Sudden unexplained change in weight
  • Questionable financial transactions
  • Withdrawal-both physical and emotional

If you suspect a loved one is not properly being cared for in a nursing home, it's important to act quickly. If you feel they are in immediate danger, call 911. Otherwise, contact the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Finally, it's important to consult a lawyer who has experience in nursing home abuse cases.

Contact the esteemed Omaha attorneys at Cullan & Cullan, LLC. Call us today at (402) 882-7080.


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