We all like to think that our parents or loved ones are in good hands when we check them into nursing homes. Most of the time, they get exceptional care and attention by the staff and nursing home—but when nursing home abuse occurs, it can turn into a family’s worst nightmare. Elderly patients often are not able to vocalize the abuse to others, either out of fear of repercussions or not being believed, or they are simply not in the right mind state. Here are some signs to look for, provided by the Nursing Home Abuse Center:
- Bruises and bleeding. Some bruising can be typical; elderly people tend to bruise easily. However, if the bruising is excessive or consistent, it could be a sign of abuse.
- Sudden change in weight. Particularly weight loss can be a sign of neglect, or a loss of appetite due to distress.
- Soiling, poor hygiene. This is one of the common signs of neglect. Patients and rooms should always be kept in clean and sterile conditions.
- Disappearance of personal items. This is a clear sign that caretakers cannot be trusted.
- Emotional withdraw. This can be harder to pick up on, but if abuse is occurring, you can expect it.
You should immediately ask to speak with facility management if you expect abuse or neglect. If the staff ever refuses or delays your visits, this is also a red flag.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A.—Orlando personal injury attorneys.