5 Tell-Tale Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse – People take their aging loved ones to a nursing home because they love them and want them to be properly taken care of. Their idea of a nursing home is a peaceful place with kind and loving caregivers who genuinely take care of the elderly. However, their trust shatters into pieces and their admiration and respect for caregivers turn into heart-wrenching disbelief and horror the moment they realize their loved ones are being abused. Unfortunately, this kind of case is common.
If you have recently discovered that your loved one is experiencing some form of abuse while staying at a nursing home, you should seek legal action for damages caused to your family member. You can find out here or check out other sources to search for a reliable lawyer conversant with nursing home negligence and abuse cases.
Keep reading to learn about the tell-tale signs of nursing home abuse.
- Unexplained Injuries
Elderly people are prone to falls and other injuries because their frames are no longer strong enough to balance them effectively, and their mental state, as well as other body organs, are in a degenerative state. Such falls are common and normal.
But if your elderly loved one in a nursing home has unexplained injuries, they may be undergoing some form of abuse within the facility and most probably in the hands of their caregiver. If your loved one tells you that they’re being physically abused, don’t ignore them. If they’re not in a position to give verbal expressions, be vigilant and watch out for things, like:
- Unusual sprains, broken bones, or dislocations
- Scars or bruises
- Rope or pressure marks caused by being restrained
- Emotional Instability
Unlike physical abuse that’s evident, emotional abuse may not be readily detected. You’ll only realize that your loved one is undergoing emotional or psychological abuse when their behavior changes suddenly. If you know your loved one’s temperaments well enough, you’ll quickly sense if something is wrong.
If they start showing the following behaviors, someone in the nursing home is either manipulating, gas lighting, humiliating, or harassing them:
- Not being able to sleep properly
- Expressing anxiety or fearfulness when around caregivers
- Feeling depressed, acting distant, and refusing to talk
- Displaying unusual aggressive behavior
- Having mood swings
- Sexual Abuse
Naturally, you have taken your elderly loved one to a nursing home because you believe they are safer there than in any other environment. So, the least of your worries would be any form of harm, such as sexual abuse.
However, most of the elderly who are sexually abused in nursing homes are those that suffer from mental illness, dementia, or a physical disability. Moreover, patients staying in private rooms tend to become targets of sexual abuse.
Check for the following signs if you suspect that your loved one is being sexually assaulted in the nursing home where they’re resident of:
- Bruises in areas close to the breasts, genitals, wrists, or thighs
- Damaged, bloody, or soiled underwear and clothing
- Unexplained genital infections
- Distress around caregivers
- Financial Exploitation
It’s crucial to monitor and protect your elderly loved one’s individual financial accounts from unscrupulous people who may take advantage of their condition. A caregiver in a nursing home may profit off your loved one by taking advantage of their situation, especially if their mental state is degenerative. Hence, you should jump into action if you notice things, such as:
- Unusual and suspicious withdrawals from accounts
- Missing valuables or money from the elderly’s room
- ATM withdrawals, but the elder is bedridden
- New signatory names to your loved one’s credit cards
- Unusual increase in the elderly’s spending
- Unhygienic Conditions
One of the main reasons elders are taken to nursing homes is because they’ve lost the ability to take care of themselves. However, they suffer from neglect, another common form of abuse in nursing homes.
Neglect can be summarized as the nursing home failing to look after the well-being of your elderly loved one by doing things, like failing to dress the elder suitably for the weather, withholding water and food, and not bathing and leaving the elder in soiled and dirty beddings.
A neglected elder will display signs of:
- Weight loss
- Poor personal hygiene
- Bed sores
- Untreated injuries
When you take your loved one to a nursing home, make frequent visits and be wary when their caregiver suddenly starts cutting your visits short or prevents you from seeing them. When your loved one also suddenly starts displaying protective and soothing behavior, like sucking, rocking, hugging, and looks withdrawn, you should step in immediately. Early detection of abuse can save your elderly loved one from trauma or even death.
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