Do you know these signs of nursing home financial abuse?

When you placed your aging mother or father in an Ohio nursing home, you hoped the professionals there would take great care of your loved one. Rather than physical abuse, you may harbor concerns of a different misdeed. Could your parent be a victim of financial abuse?

To get a better sense of the potential situation, see what Nursing Home Abuse Support says about financial exploitation in nursing homes. Your loved one does not have to suffer in silence.

Sudden changes to financial documents

If you have access to your parent’s finances and legal documents, look over them for unexplained or sudden changes. Focus on items such as the power of attorney and will.

Odd bank withdrawals

Did your mother or father make any out-of-the-ordinary withdrawals since moving into the nursing home? Monitor retirement, savings and checking accounts for concerning activity.

Poor living conditions

While nursing home residents may live in rooms and spaces below their current financial means to save money, more sinister reasons could be at play. If your parent’s current living conditions are lower than what she or he enjoyed before moving into a nursing home, find out why.

A lack of medical devices

Sometimes, nursing home residents pay for walkers, CPAP machines and other mobility and medical devices that never arrive. If this is the case with your loved one, ask the nursing home staff why.

Taking generic medication while paying for brand name prescriptions

Related to paying for nonexistent medical devices, nursing home residents sometimes pay for brand name medication but receive generic prescriptions. Someone at the nursing home may pocket the difference between the brands.

Physical and behavioral signs of nursing home abuse

Residents of nursing homes are not always able to report elder abuse to those who can help. Therefore, people close to the resident, especially family members and friends, have a responsibility to pay attention to signs of possible abuse and take appropriate action.

Signs of elder abuse can be either physical or behavioral. Behavioral signs may show up earlier than physical signs, but physical signs are often more recognizable. Loved ones should pay close attention to both to get help for the resident as quickly as possible.

Physical signs

Physical signs of elder abuse are more concrete than behavioral signs. For this reason, they may be easier to identify. The National Center on Elder Abuse identifies broken bones, cuts, welts, burns, sores or bruises as physical warning signs of abuse. These are especially worrisome if the injuries are serious in nature and nursing home personnel are unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for them. It is also a red flag if injuries such as bruises appear in a cluster pattern.

Behavioral signs

Behavioral signs of elder abuse are less concrete than physical signs. According to the American Society on Aging, they sometimes resemble symptoms of mental health problems or dementia. For these reasons, people sometimes ignore or dismiss them, but any unusual behavioral changes warrant further investigation to determine whether abuse may be the cause.

Nursing home residents who have experienced abuse may display submissive or fearful behavior. For example, they may cringe away from physical contact, startle easily or refuse to meet the gaze of others. Irritability or anger without an apparent cause can be a behavioral sign of abuse. The resident may become withdrawn, depressed or apathetic. Conversely, he or she may become anxious or agitated. It is a red flag if symptoms such as these increase in the presence of a certain individual, who may be an abuser.

What help is available for paying personal injury medical bills?

In the immediate aftermath of your personal injury, you went to an Ohio hospital to receive treatment. You are on the road to recovery, but now you have medical bills adding financial pain to your physical pain. 

You have options for lowering your medical costs. Learn more about those options to ease your financial burden while getting back on your feet. 

Look for errors

Take a careful look over your medical bills, checking for double-billing, odd fees and charges for services or treatment that you did not receive. If you have insurance, make sure your provider covered everything included in your policy. Ask for your personal injury medical records and compare them with your bills. All received services should match what you see in your records. 

Ask about paying the insurance rate

If you either do not have insurance or received treatment that your provider does not cover, ask the medical facility if you can pay the insurance or Medicare rate. Often, individual payees pay more than insurance companies, but the hospital may reduce your bill if doing so means you pay faster and they get something rather than nothing. 

Negotiate with the hospital

Maybe paying in installments makes for an easier option than paying your bill in full in a single payment. Contact the hospital billing office and explain your financial situation and ask if they can put you on an interest-free installment plan. Another option is paying what you can in cash rather than with a debit or credit card. Doing so could net you a discount. 

Even if you qualify for compensation because of your personal injury, you still have medical bills to pay. Work to lower those bills to give yourself one less thing to worry about while you build your case. 

Long-term effects of a spinal cord injury

Back and spine injuries can be devastating. Whether you suffer an injury on the job, in a car wreck or by the actions of a negligent property owner, it may help you to know the various ways in which a spinal cord injury (SCI) can affect your life in the long-term.

You may find that the impairments to your life are beyond significant. Such impairments include:

  • Cardiovascular problems: It is not uncommon for problems like orthostatic hypotension, cardiac atrophy and other heart and blood-related complications to arise in SCI victims.
  • Chronic pain: Chronic pain like what you may experience from an SCI can seriously affect your overall quality of life. The majority of SCI victims suffer from some form of chronic pain.
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction: Functionality on the bladder and bowl level is dictated by the central nervous system. SCIs can disrupt the nerves on which the bladder and bowel rely to function correctly. Dysfunction in the urinary or bowel systems may require regular therapy.
  • Respiratory issues: SCIs can affect your respiratory muscles and cause ineffective coughs, chest and lung wall compliance issues and create a higher demand of oxygen needs in breathing.

Additionally, these impairments have the potential to cause psychological stress and issues with general social well-being. Other potential effects of an SCI include:

  • Sexual functionality, fertility and sensitivity
  • General loss of sensation or change in sensation
  • Problems with everyday movement and coordination

It is vital that you see a doctor after a serious accident, even if you are only experiencing minor effects from an SCI; some issues may take time to develop.