Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
Putting your loved one into a nursing home is difficult for a number of reasons. It’s an acknowledgment of aging and frailty; it means they can no longer provide the best care for themselves, but it also means they could be susceptible to abuse. Nursing home abuse is unfortunately very common in care facilities throughout the country. More than 40% of nursing home residents have reported abuse, and those are just the reported cases. Part of the reason why nursing home abuse is such a problem is because the victims are vulnerable and their cases go unreported and thus unpunished. No one wants to think about their loved one being abused but it’s important to recognize the signs so if you see it you are in a position to do something about it.
Physical signs of harm, neglect, or abuse are usually the easiest to spot on your loved ones. Severe rapid weight loss or weight gain, changes in mobility, inexplicable cuts, bruises or other physical injuries, dehydration, and bedsores can all be signs of nursing home abuse. When you go to visit your loved one make sure to take careful note of any new physical attributes. Of course, the most important thing you can do for your loved one is to make sure they are safe. If you do suspect they are being abused you should remove them from the institution as soon as possible.
Emotional or Social Signs
Just as nursing home abuse doesn’t need to be physical, neither do its symptoms. Emotional or social withdrawal, agitation, non-communication, wandering, elopement, and refusal to speak or interact are all signs of nursing home abuse. Many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported; rather the victim becomes emotionally withdrawn. If your loved one is exhibiting these signs and they are departed from their usual behavior you should speak with them about any abuse that may be occurring.
Nursing home abuse usually comes as a result of a facility being understaffed. If you notice that residents are not being properly attended to you may inquire about the particular care of your loved one. Take a look at the cleanliness of the facility itself, particularly your loved ones room and bed. Make sure the room, sheets, and bathroom are all clean. Surveying the environment that your loved one lives in may not provide definitive signs of abuse but it can help clue you into what is going on.
Paying close attention to these signs of nursing home abuse and neglect will help keep your loved one safe and well cared for. Even frequent visits deter abuse, as the facility is less likely to do harm to a resident who has family looking out for them. If you do notice signs of nursing home abuse you should remove your loved one from the facility and contact a lawyer right away.
The Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo is an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. We will fight for your loved one’s right to fair and dignified treatment. Contact us today to get your case started.
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