When you put your older loved one into a nursing home, you want to make sure that they’re receiving the proper care that they deserve. In most cases, families find that they’ve made the right choice, and their senior loved one is in good hands.
However, there are other situations that ultimately result in nursing home abuse, and require a lawyer. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse may not always be immediately evident. Seniors are often in a vulnerable state of mind, and may not be able to express what’s happening to them in clear terms.
However, by recognizing the most common signs, you can take action and ensure that the abuse comes to an end. Here are some of the telltale signs to look out for.
Do you notice that your loved one suddenly has inexplicable bruises or perhaps strange marks? You want to pay close attention to any injuries that pop up, particularly if they are frequent. If they have the same kind of injuries popping up, then this is a red flag. Perhaps most important is the explanation that the staff member gives.
If a staff member provides vague or suspicious explanations, then it’s reason to be concerned. You should be particularly concerned if you notice that these injuries are popping up in places where they may have been improperly restrained— think risk, ankles, or the neck area.
Is your loved one suddenly acting differently? Is their behavior unrecognizable? If this behavior changed since they moved into the nursing home, then this is something you should not ignore. Particularly if their behavioral changes include being withdrawn or anxious. These kinds of changes may suggest psychological abuse.
This is important to note, because many people who aren’t familiar with abuse assume that abuse is only considered abusive if it’s physical. However, psychological abuse can be just as if not even more damaging. So pay attention to any abrupt shifts in behavior.
Basic Needs Neglected
Another form of abuse that may not show any bruises is neglect of basic needs. Although this may seem insane to imagine someone could be capable of this kind of abuse, withholding basic needs like food and water from seniors does and can happen. You’re paying money for someone to be bathed, fed and well looked after in a facility. So if you notice that your loved one is losing weight, or doesn’t appear to have been bathed, then you need to bring this up with a supervisor. An explicable weight loss or inadequate personal hygiene is a serious concern that should be addressed.
One of the most common signs of abuse in a nursing home is social isolation. Abusive caregivers encourage their victims to isolate themselves from their friends and family. If your once loving and attentive family member is now refusing to see you, then you should investigate further whether there may be something else going on.