Coming to terms with the fact that your parent or other aging relative needs the kind of round-the-clock care that only a nursing home can provide is never easy. It is a good feeling, however, to know that you’ve found a nursing home that’s a good fit for your loved one and that provides him or her with quality care. Unfortunately, the prevalence of nursing home abuse requires that you know the four primary signs of nursing home abuse—because your loved one may be hesitant or unable to report the abuse on his or her own.
The Warning Signs
As difficult as it is to accept, nursing home abuse happens, and your loved one may be afraid to tell you about this abuse or may be unable to tell you. Be aware of the warning signs:
- Unanswered questions. It’s natural to have questions about your loved one’s care plan, and you’re encouraged to ask these questions of the care facility’s staff and administrators. If they can’t answer your questions, evade your questions, or gloss over your questions, consider that a warning sign. Every nursing home resident has a care plan, and both the staff and the administration should be conversant regarding this plan. Your questions are important and should be taken seriously.
- Fear and agitation. If your loved one appears uncharacteristically fearful or agitated in certain situations or when specific staff members are providing care (or are nearby), it can be indicative of abuse. Even elderly people with cognitive impairment issues can effectively demonstrate fear. Remain cognizant of such reactions, and immediately share your concerns with the facility’s director.
- Physical signs. If your loved one exhibits any physical signs of abuse or neglect, it’s especially serious and you should act quickly. Such signs can include dehydration (a common indicator of neglect), malnutrition, and any overt physical injuries such as unexplained bruises, cuts, or bedsores. Physical signals can also include a marked deterioration in personal appearance and/or hygiene.
- Emotional or physical changes. The aging process naturally causes physical and emotional changes, but if you notice pronounced changes in your loved one’s physical being or emotional states that just don’t seem to fit, it may be a sign of abuse. If such changes don’t seem right to you, they probably aren’t.
Your loved one’s health and well-being are naturally your top priority. You can help ensure that your aging relative is well cared for by visiting regularly but varying your visitation schedule. It’s important to remember that your family member may be afraid to or may be unable to bring up issues of abuse on his or her own. If you notice anything that strikes you as a warning sign, act quickly.
If Your Loved One Has Suffered Nursing Home Abuse, Consult with an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
Nursing home abuse is especially difficult to come to terms with. Attorney David Brauns is dedicated to representing the rights of nursing home abuse victims and works hard to hold negligent nursing home staff and administrators accountable for their actions. To set up a free case evaluation with Mr. Brauns, call our office today at (404) 418-8244 or send us an email through our online contact form.