Nursing Home Abuse
Currently seniors make up nearly 15% of Ontario’s population. The provincial government believes this number will almost double within the next 20 years. The increase in the population of seniors is causing vacancies in nursing homes to be at a premium. With demand so high, nursing homes may be tempted to overlook standard procedures, which can lead to neglect and abuse.
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The most tragic thing about nursing home abuse is that it all too often goes unreported. Victims often fail to report abuse because they do not have the means to make a report, are afraid of retaliation from their abusers or are not even aware of abuse, usually because of a medical condition.
Nursing home abuse takes two forms. The first relates to the conditions of the facility. It must be clean, safe and equipped with standard operating equipment. It must also be designed to best prevent slips and falls, the number one cause of accidents in a nursing home. These basic standards often go unnoticed to a visitor, so it is always good to talk to your loved one about the condition of their facility.
The second form of abuse is related to the nursing home staff. This may include negligence and physical, sexual, verbal, financial or emotional abuse. Staff must provide access to, and assistance with, nutritious meals, social services, bathing facilities, recreation and medical care. Without these services your loved one is not receiving the care required to maintain a healthy and dignified life. All forms of abuse may ultimately lead to the wrongful death of your loved one.
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Abuse is often difficult to detect. If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected look for some of these common indicators:
- Frequent illness
- Unexplained bruises
- Tenant is afraid of employees
- Unsanitary conditions
- Unexplained death
- Unkempt appearance
- Suspicious financial transactions
- Sudden change of behaviour by tenant
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You and your loved one can be financial compensated for their abuse in a nursing home. This may include coverage for medical expenses, emotional pain and suffering, wrongful death, or even loss of companionship. If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately.
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