Nursing Home Life: Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse


One of the most difficult things any adult will have to do is to see one of your parents unable to care for themselves.

We all get older. This is one of life’s inevitable guarantees. As we age beyond our golden years, we become susceptible to ailments and problems that we never had to face before in life. For some, this can be a heart-wrenching experience.

A nursing home is generally the last resort when it comes to caring for your parents, or if no family members are able to intervene. These facilities specialize in caring for adults in their later years and often take the burden off of a family member who cannot adequately care for them.

Unfortunately, many nursing home workers aren’t properly trained to handle certain situations. Additionally, many instances of personal injury have been recorded. If you suspect someone is abusing an elderly person in a nursing home, consider the following.

Signs of Abuse

The last thing you’ll want to worry about is the care that your family member is receiving. While some nursing facilities offer top-notch care, and might even leave you feeling envious of your family member’s new digs, other facilities are relatively lackluster and employ less compassionate people.

The signs of abuse that are commonly associated with any situation of abuse can easily be applied to those residing in nursing homes. If one or more of the following occurs, you might be dealing with a case of nursing home abuse:

  • Frequent bruises on the arms and head
  • Your family members appear heavily medicated and incoherent often
  • Lapse in memory regarding recent events
  • Your family member has a genuine fear of the nursing facility workers
  • Soiled sheets
  • Stench in the room

While the above list is only a reference, several other signs of abuse may not be visibly present. Trauma of any kind at an elderly age can manifest in many ways, and these are often not as noticeable.

Abuse can be even more difficult to ascertain if your family member’s condition prevents him or her from communicating with you. If your family member suffers from Alzheimer’s, it can be extremely difficult to tell if they’ve been abused simply because they may not remember it.

Keep an eye out for visible signs, and check on your family members frequently. This is your best bet at uncovering any patterns of abuse.

Steps to Take If Abuse is Noticed

If you notice signs or patterns of abuse, or if your family member has told you first-hand of the abuse he or she has been subjected to, if you’re able, the best decision is to remove your family member from the home if you can.

Many nursing home agreements won’t allow for a family member to be removed under certain medical conditions. If you’re unable to remove them from the home, the first step is to notify management of the situation, and call the authorities and file a report of abuse.

Your next step, after notifying the authorities, you need to do if you suspect abuse is to seek legal counsel. You might not have the right to remove your family member from the nursing home, but a good lawyer will know the steps you can take to seek justice and get compensation.

It’s not a fun thing to witness your loved ones being mistreated. And, while this might anger you and provoke you into retaliation, you’ll only make matters worse if you end up in jail and cannot fight to remove your loved one from a facility providing improper care.

Life comes with two guarantees. You’re going to grow old, and you will eventually leave this world. As we’re all going to travel the path of age until life leaves our bodies, we have to take the steps necessary to care for those who have a head start over us.

We’re all traveling the same road, and nobody wants to end up being abused later in life, especially when you’re no longer able to care for yourself. If you suspect abuse of any kind, take action immediately.


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