3 Signs of Mental Facility Abuse

Due to the nature of mental illness, many patients who reside in a group home or public facility lack the means to report abuse from the staff who provides their care. Nurses, nursing aides, maintenance crew, and others have been caught taking advantage of or harming mentally ill residents. Some patients cannot think logically or speak clearly and cannot report abuse to a supervisor or a family member. Anyone related to or concerned about a mentally ill resident in a facility should consider possible physical, emotional, financial, or psychological abuse if you notice any of the following signs. You will also need to contact elder abuse attorneys in Dallas to begin building a case.

1. Change of Patient’s Behavior or Emotions

A patient diagnosed with mental illness often exhibits unusual behavior, such as appearing to search for something that cannot be seen or talking about events that do not make sense. Similarly, his or her emotions may change from time to time, leading to bouts of anxiety, depression, or fearfulness. However, if behaviors like these occur suddenly without explanation, are extreme or prolonged, or if the patient seems unduly alarmed or disturbed, it is worth following up with experts Dallas abuse attorneys at Smith Clinesmith LLP for more information.

2. Change in Patient’s Condition or Circumstances

Patients who become sloppy or careless, or who appear to be neglected or self-soiled should be evaluated by the doctor for any change in mental or physical status. If no medical change is evident, abuse should be considered, and the matter should be discussed with professionals. Unexplained bruises or other injuries are a common sign of possible abuse, and these should be carefully investigated by asking for an incident report from the nurse manager or doctor. If none exists, that could be a sign of neglect or intentional injury.

3. Change in Patient’s Mental Health Status

A patient who becomes more acutely forgetful, moody, or excitable may be showing signs of abuse. Such changes should be discussed with medical personnel to see if further follow-up for potential abuse is needed.

For professional legal advice about mental illness abuse, contact Smith Clinesmith LLP to schedule an initial case consultation.