Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Personal Injury Lawyer
Placing an elderly loved one into a nursing home can be a tough decision, especially when family members consider the chances of nursing home abuse happening. Family members may want to research about the signs of nursing home neglect, abuse and exploitation so they can respond if such an incident were to be inflicted on their senior loved one. Senior residents who are unable to speak up for themselves or must rely on a caretaker entirely, may be particularly vulnerable. Sadly, many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported, as elderly residents may fear that by speaking up, they will only face worsened mistreatment.
Family members may have plenty of questions about how they can keep an eye on their senior loved one, to ensure they are being well taken care of in the nursing home. And if a situation arises in which they are being mistreated, a family member can feel empowered to take action.
Q: What signs can I watch out for to help protect my loved one from abuse?
A: Loved ones in a nursing home facility that are not being treated well, may be anxious to share this information with you. He or she may worry that if the staff finds out, they may inflict even harsher treatment for bringing it to light. Even if your loved one refuses to talk to you about the abuse, here are warning signs that may mean further investigation should be taken immediately:
- Your loved one appears fearful, anxious, on edge and/or depressed
- There are certain caregivers your loved one refuses to let take care of him/her
- Your loved one is having emotional outbursts, and may even refuse to eat and/or take prescribed medication
- The bed sheets, clothes and overall cleanliness of the room is poor
- Your loved one appears frail, weak, has lost weight, malnourished, odd coloration of skin (and not due to a diagnosed illness)
- Your loved one has marks on body, especially areas that are covered by clothes (chest, stomach, back, upper thighs, and bottom of feet
Q: Is there anything I can do to prevent mistreatment from happening?
A: It can be difficult to eliminate the chances of mistreatment happening to your loved one entirely. However, a great strategy for helping minimize the chances are to be immensely involved in his or her care while at the facility, in addition to visiting often. The more present family members are, the less likely the loved one is going to suffer from mistreatment since staff knows they are being watched carefully.
Q: What can I do if my loved one suffered from abuse, neglect or exploitation?
A: Family members who witness mistreatment happen, observe visible wounds that cannot be explained, or hear directly from their loved one about instances of abuse, can take action in a few ways. Firstly, before you remove your loved one from the facility, obtain evidence related to the abuse including living conditions, physical wounds, and even witness statements. File a report directly to the facility, and then meet with a nursing home abuse lawyer about how to seek justice for your elderly loved one.