For more information of confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Oklahoma Family Alleges Unspeakable Nursing Home Abuse

nursing home abuseFor elderly patients in need of round-the-clock care, many families turn to the comfort and peace of mind offered by nursing homes. However, as one devastated Oklahoma family recently discovered, its peace of mind quickly turned to horror and panic as evidence of long-term elder abuse began to manifest in their elderly patron – who happens to be an esteemed veteran of the U.S. military.

As may be appropriate in any situation involving elder abuse, the family may be able to exercise its option to commence a personal injury lawsuit against the nursing home facility, which could result in compensation for the victim to treat his injuries and redress his pain and suffering.

Details of nursing home abuse

According to reports, the patient-victim was recovering from a recent illness at a nursing home facility in Jones, Oklahoma. Shortly thereafter, he reported being viciously beaten in the stomach by a nurse, who allegedly “just balled up her fist and just swung.” The victim, who revealed the bruising in a series of pictures released to the media, is an elderly Vietnam War veteran – and was reduced to the fetal position during the attack.

After hearing the explanation of the abuse, the victim’s wife immediately complained to the director of the facility. From there, things allegedly turned from bad to worse. The director refused to admit that any adverse incidents had occurred, made inane excuses for the alleged perpetrator, and refused to allow the victim’s family to take his medications home upon check-out.

The victim’s spouse reports finding her husband facing the wall, crying, when she went to visit earlier this month – triggering her investigation into the matter and, ultimately, uncovering the details of the alleged assault.

Recognizing signs of elder neglect or abuse

Nursing home abuse is often difficult to detect, and may be kept under the radar for many months before family and visitors are able to uncover the truth. What’s more, many nursing home patients suffer from debilitating mental conditions, including advanced dementia – making it all the easier for abusive staff members to get away with wrongdoing.

Signs of nursing home abuse can take many forms, and abuse can range from financial to sexual.

Physical abuse may result in any of the following signs:

  • Unexplained bruising or cuts;
  • Abrupt onset of depression or anxiety around certain staff members;
  • Sexually-transmitted infections or evidence of genital trauma;
  • Weight loss;
  • Bed sores;
  • Increase confusion or anger

Nursing home patients are also susceptible to financial abuse, and may be coerced into giving money or valuables to staff members. Family members should watch for missing jewelry, depleted bank accounts or unexplained asset transfers. Also, it is not uncommon for abusers to outright steal from patients, which is also actionable under both civil and criminal laws.

Nursing home abuse statistics

Nursing home abuse is thought to be one of the most underreported crimes in the United States today. According to one study, just 1 out of every 14 incidents of elder abuse is ever reported to authorities. Moreover, a 2009 study revealed a startling statistic revealing close to 50 percent of all Americans with dementia experience some form of abuse. An estimated $5.3 billion is added to the national healthcare budget annually as a result of medical treatment necessary to remedy the effects of abuse.