Currently, over one million people live in nursing homes in the United States.
The decision to put your loved one in a nursing home is a very personal one because the reality of nursing home abuse is all too real.
What are the signs of nursing home abuse and when should you be concerned? Here are some important signs you need to look out for.
Unexplained injuries are one of the most common signs of nursing home abuse. Even though elderly patients do suffer bumps and bruises from time to time due to accidents, prolonged or repeated injuries should indicate a problem.
Some injuries you may notice are:
- Broken bones
If you notice consistent injuries on your loved one, contact a nursing home abuse attorney immediately to further an investigation. Continued abuse could lead to fatalities.
Nursing home neglect is when the needs of the patient are not met or protect them from danger.
Malnourishment and dehydration are possible signs of nursing home neglect. Your loved one might be looking smaller, thinner, or have a dry mouth or cracked lips. They may not go to the bathroom as frequently or appear lethargic due to lack of nutrition.
Emotional abuse is categorized as controlling other people by manipulating their emotions or shaming them verbally. It’s a very common form of abuse towards the elderly.
Some signs that your loved one is experiencing emotional abuse would be behavior such as isolating themselves, guilt, embarrassment, physical rocking, being fearful, or opposing touches. It’s much harder to distinguish signs of emotional abuse versus physical abuse but stay on the lookout for behaviors that seem abnormal because eventually, they will manifest.
Financial abuse does occur in nursing homes. People who work in the nursing home or other family members may be guilty of exploitation and action needs to be taken immediately.
Your loved one may experience unpaid bills, unexplained missing funds or credit cards, names added to their credit cards, mysterious withdrawals, and purchases denied by the patient.
Uncovering financial abuse requires a bit more work, especially if the patient does not manage their finances. If you’re managing your loved one’s finances for them, be sure to look for changes, both subtle and substantial, to determine if any financial abuse is occurring.
5Lack of Hygiene
Patients in a nursing home need extra care and this may include bathing and help with other necessities such as going to the bathroom. If you find that your loved one isn’t being properly cared for and notice they’ve not been bathed, or there are dirty bedsheets, this could be a sign of abuse.
In addition, the room may not be cleaned or maintained well. Dirty dishes, clothes, and other items may be left behind, and your loved one might not be properly dressed.
Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The signs of nursing home abuse should never be ignored and always take seriously. The opportunity to stop abuse in its tracks will save others from harm as well.
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