While nursing homes are typically incredibly safe, and put tons of effort into keeping their residents happy and healthy, there are still tragic cases where these homes become hotbeds for elder abuse. By knowing what to look for, you can quickly spot the warning signs of elder abuse, and protect your elderly loved one during their stay. To keep you effective on your watch, here are six serious signs that nursing home abuse may be occurring:
There is no reason that an unexplained injury or death should ever occur under a nursing home staff’s watch. In the tragic case that your loved one is harmed during their stay, and the staff cannot explain how an injury (or death) happened, you need to hire a nursing home abuse attorney yesterday. Getting to the bottom of this case will help your family find justice, while also ensuring other residents are protected from any nefarious abuse that may be going on behind the scenes. You should never put off seeking help in the case that this horrible situation ends up occurring.
When your loved one is under the supervision of a nursing home, they are putting their health into the hands of their staff. For this reason, easily avoidable illnesses and injuries, such as dehydration should never be occurring. If you find that your loved one is dehydrated, especially if they’ve had complications from dehydration, you need to find answers ASAP. Confronting a nursing home’s director about the problem is recommended and can do a lot for getting the problem resolved as quickly as humanly possible. Doing so will ensure that you know that nursing home staff will be evaluated, and readjusted so that they will perform their duties more vigorously in the future.
Alongside dehydration, bed sores are another avoidable injury that nursing home residents should never have to deal with. If your loved one is bedridden, part of the nursing home staff’s responsibility is to move them every few hours to prevent bed sores, as well as other injuries that can come about due to a lack of movement. If staff is falling to prevent such a preventable injury, it’s a sign that other abuses and cut corners could be occurring behind the scenes at the nursing home. Being sure to check in on your loved one’s condition, both mentally and physically, now and then can help you prevent any abuse from occurring for a prolonged period.
Sudden changes in a person’s behavior or personality can be a huge red flag in terms of their mental health. When a nursing home resident suddenly becomes anti-social, after previously being bubbly and outgoing, the seriousness of the issue is even more worrisome. At an advanced age, these sudden mood changes are much more devastating for the person’s health – both mentally and physically. If you’ve noticed your loved one suddenly becoming anti-social, especially if their mood suddenly changes whenever staff members are around, you should ask them what’s going on. Make sure to do so in private, and where no prying eyes or ears could be watching you.
Similar to unexplained injuries, slip and fall accidents should never be happening under a nursing home’s watch. Potentially slippery surfaces, tripping hazards, and other dangers should be kept completely out of sight of your loved one, and at all times. If your loved one experiences a slip and fall accident, it can lead to serious or even deadly complications. If this tragedy befalls your loved one under a nursing home’s watch, it could be a serious sign that elder abuse or improper care practices are happening behind the scenes. Many times, when this type of accident occurs, it’s because of unacceptable staff shortages.
Although less common, there are instances where nursing home staff have been known to pressure residents into gifting them money, or other valuables through abusive means. When this is occurring, it can quickly eat up your loved one’s savings, and make them extremely vulnerable. If you suspect this sort of abuse is occurring, you should talk to your loved one, and then to the nursing home’s director (if you feel that this major step is necessary).
Being vigilant about your elderly loved one’s mental and physical health during their stay in the nursing home should be one of your top concerns. While the vast majority of residents lead happy, healthy, abuse-free lives, elder abuse does still occur (even at the best facilities). By keeping an eye out for your loved one, you can ensure that you catch any potential abuse early on.