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Understanding Nursing Home Abuse in Colorado Springs

— May 10, 2023

Before you contact a lawyer, it’s paramount that you document everything about the abuse, take pictures, and if possible, find witnesses.

Colorado Springs, CO – At their best, nursing homes aim to provide a safe and friendly environment for people who are no longer able to look after themselves. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. Nursing home abuse is a grim reality. Know the warning signs, and find out how specialized lawyers can help you if a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse.

Different forms of nursing home abuse

Back in 2020, the Colorado Springs community was rocked by a shocking case of nursing home abuse, in which an 89-year-old woman was found frozen to death outside of her nursing home. Eventually, the case was thrown out, as the nurses charged with neglect entered a Diversion Agreement with the state of Colorado.

However, nursing home abuse takes many forms – physical, psychological, and sexual. And while none of these are pleasant things to think about, it’s vital that the immediate family of the patient be knowledgeable. 

  • Negligence   Nursing home neglect takes place when a patient is left unattended for extended periods of time. Neglect also includes starvation, and not helping the resident maintain a decent level of personal hygiene.
  • Physical abuse – Common types of physical abuse include hitting, pushing, shoving, and kicking. All can be life-threatening, which is why it’s important to stay vigilant and familiarize yourself with Colorado Springs nursing home abuse lawyers.
  • Sexual abuse – This refers to any kind of unwanted sexual attention (forced nudity, rape, unwanted sexual touching, etc.).
  • Emotional abuse – Unfortunately, emotional abuse is one of the hardest to spot. It typically involves threats, insults, and in more severe cases, isolation from family members, and controlling the resident’s actions.
  • Financial abuse – Financial abuse can range from petty theft of the resident’s possessions, all the way to misusing the power of attorney over the resident’s will, bank account, and other financial arrangements.

What are the signs of abuse?

If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of abuse, you need to immediately reach out to trusted Colorado nursing home abuse lawyers. Spotting the signs of abuse can be difficult, especially if the resident is non-communicative. Find below some of the most common physical and psychological symptoms of abuse:

Nursing Homes Pushing "Ultrahigh Intensity" Care for Large Medicare Payouts?
Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash
  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, or lacerations;
  • Presence of inexplicable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or trauma to the reproductive organs;
  • Withdrawal, self-isolation, depressive moods;
  • Septic infections;
  • Fractures and broken bones;
  • Facial injuries, disfigurement, and dental injuries;
  • Frequent falls;
  • Weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration.

Everyone reacts to trauma a little differently, so knowing when it’s time to contact nursing home abuse lawyers can be difficult. Basically, if the resident appears out of sorts, and shows signs of physical or emotional damage, it’s important to act. It’s always better to err on the side of caution than to allow abuse to go unpunished.

What to do next…

Before you contact a lawyer, it’s paramount that you document everything about the abuse, take pictures, and if possible, find witnesses.

A lawyer will advise you on the necessary steps to take. Often, the resident will need to be checked by a medical professional, to determine the extent of the abuse (some cases may require medical malpractice lawyers, as well).

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