6 Signs Someone Is Suffering From Nursing Home Abuse
The most vulnerable people in this world are the very young and the very old. When you put your parents or grandparents in a nursing home, you do your research beforehand and try to choose the most responsible and caring facility. However, it’s impossible for you to know what goes on behind closed doors and you may begin to notice worrisome changes in your loved one.
They may seem more fearful or more withdrawn. Are they suffering from nursing home neglect? Here are six indicators of abuse you should keep an eye out for no matter how stellar the reputation of the facility.
1. Indications of Physical Abuse
Physical evidence of abuse may manifest in small but obvious ways, such as unexplained bruises or broken bones. You should also look for subtler warning signs, such as:
- Broken glasses
- Signs of restraint marks on wrists
- Welts on parts of the body usually covered by clothing
2. Indications of Emotional Abuse
While emotional abuse may not leave the physical evidence that physical abuse does, it can be no less damaging to your loved one. Signs of abuse include major changes in behavior such as mumbling or rocking. Often, these signs mimic behaviors seen in patients with dementia.
3. Indications of Sexual Abuse
Alas, older adults can be especially vulnerable to sexual abuse, since they spend long periods of time alone with their caregivers. Indicators include unexplained STDs and bruising of breasts or genital areas.
4. Caregiver’s Reluctance to Leave a Patient Alone
Does your loved one have a caregiver who hovers over them throughout your nursing home visit? You may have thought of this behavior as reassuring or sweet at first, but now you are wondering if this person ever gives your loved one time alone. This could be an indication of abuse. Their presence is meant to intimidate your loved one and prevent them from discussing the abuse with you.
5. Signs of Neglect
Neglect is its own form of abuse. When older adults are not cared for properly, they can develop ailments or exacerbate existing conditions. Neglect includes a range of things, such as:
- Development of bed sores, which indicates the person is not getting turned in bed enough
- Leaving an older person on their own in a public location or in clothes that do little to protect them from the hot or cold
- Extreme dehydration or weight loss
- Breakdown of hygiene habits, including not bathing
6. Signs of Financial Abuse
It is important to monitor your loved one’s financial situation to pick up on potential financial abuse. Has your loved one asked to make changes in their will, their power of attorney or life insurance beneficiaries? Are they making ATM withdrawals from places they have never been? Are they complaining of lost cash around their room? These are signs of financial abuse.
Nursing home neglect and abuse are heartbreaking. Do you need a lawyer who can assist you in such a case? Contact the attorneys at Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm. We were named one of 2017’s top law firms by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys and we have handled many cases of nursing home abuse. Call or click to speak with an attorney today and set up your free initial consultation.