How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse With a Loved One
- 1 in 3 nursing homes are guilty of neglect or abuse.
- 90% of nursing homes employ one or several people who have been convicted of a crime.
After considering these statistics, do you have suspicions that a loved one is being abused in their nursing home?
It’s actually a problem that’s more common than you’d think. It’s disgusting to think that anything bad could happen to a loved one.
However, before pointing any fingers, it’s important to take stock of warning signs and determine if they are indicative of real problems.
Let’s take a look at some potential warning signs.
Rapid Weight Loss
The first obvious sign is rapid weight loss.
Obviously, if they have a pre-existing condition that causes weight loss, you have to take this with a grain of salt. But if weight loss is happening at an astonishing pace, then it’s likely something is wrong.
The nursing home may be withholding food. This is negligent behavior that must be stopped.
Dehydration is another sign of neglect to look out for.
Another sign is behavior change.
Perhaps your loved one is acting more shy and timid than you’re used to. This behavior tends to show itself when an older person transitions from an independent or mostly independent living situation into an assisted living facility
If however, the behavior is embarrassment mixed with flinching or cowering, there may be abuse happening.
Broken bones should always be scrutinized.
Large bruises are also a reason to worry.
Although older people are more apt to hurt themselves, make sure you deeply investigate the cause and question the circumstances.
Younger people working at an assisted living facility may feel like they are in a position of power and hurt their older residents for no particular reason.
Also, investigate any incidents where a loved one has fallen or sustains a head injury.
Chronic Illness and Infections
Here’s a tough situation to determine.
Obviously, as people get older, their bodies deteriorate and they are more susceptible to disease. At the same time, it’s possible to treat a lot of conditions thanks to the miracles of modern medicine.
When caught early enough, a lot of these things can be treated. It’s definitely questionable if nobody at the nursing home has caught on to what’s happening.
If a loved one has poor hygiene, you have to take a couple things into consideration.
- Have they always been that way?
- Were they that way immediately before living in a nursing home?
If you can’t say that’s true, you may have uncovered a sign of abuse.
Other related signs are soiled bedding, infrequent bathing, and generally filthy living conditions.
Unexplained Missing Financial Funds
This one is almost a no-brainer. If you can’t explain what happened to some funds, there’s definitely a problem on your hands.
Whether it’s an issue of abuse is a matter of investigation. It’s possible a loved one accessed them and forgot, so make sure to get the story straight.
Limited Access to Loved One
Does the staff refuse to leave when you’re visiting your loved one?
Or perhaps they limit your access to them in ways not understood by publicly stated visitors hours and policies?
This is an obvious warning sign of a bigger problem and should be scrutinized very heavily if it happens.
On the flip side, if the staff is leaving a loved one unattended for a long period of time, it could be dangerous.
Obviously it depends on the mental operating capacity and mobility of your loved one, but it’s expected that they will be checked on periodically. There needs to be a balance between free time and supervised time in most cases.
These are just a few of all the possible scenarios your loved ones could be facing in a nursing home. At the end of the day, if you have a bad feeling in your gut – investigate it!
Are you witnessing the warning signs that a loved one is being abused in their nursing home?
Do you have that nagging feeling that something might be wrong?
It’s time to call a personal injury lawyer. Your local “Attorney Big Al” handles these problems and many more.
For a free consultation, call 1-800-HURT-123.