We recently posted an article about the prevalence of nursing home abuse and the different types of mistreatment that occur on a routine basis. It is an unfortunate fact that physical and emotional abuses, as well as financial fraud and exploitation occur frequently in nursing homes and adult care facilities—abuses that are bound to increase as more and more of the Baby Boomer generation requires medical care and attention.
Putting your loved one in a nursing home is a tough, but often necessary, decision, and hearing about the abuses that take place doesn’t make it any easier. Protecting your loved one while they are in a nursing home is just as important as it was when they were not.
For this post, we’ve compiled a list of things to look out for to ensure that your loved one isn’t being mistreated.
It is important to note that while abuses do occur in nursing homes, not all signs of abuse necessarily indicate mistreatment. Sometimes accidents happen, especially with the elderly, who are oftentimes already suffering from physical and mental illnesses. Keep this in mind while looking out for signs of abuse.
Indications of physical mistreatment are usually fairly obvious to identify, and include:
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Open wounds or cuts
- Unexplained loss of hair
- Torn or bloody clothing/bedding
- Incidents involving broken bones, especially a fractured hip
- Heavy medication or sedation
- Injuries occurring shortly after a resident is caught wandering
Signs of Neglect
Likewise, symptoms of neglect are easier to recognize:
- Bed sores
- Sudden and unexplained change in weight
- Soiling/smell of urine and feces
- Poor or improper hygiene
- Unsanitary conditions
- Stained clothing/bedding
- Resident is frequently ill, and the illness in not reported to the family or physician
Signs of Emotional or Verbal Abuse
Indicators of emotional or verbal abuse are often harder to detect. Possible signs may include:
- Unresponsiveness or lethargic behavior
- Immature or strange behavior
- Physical or emotional withdrawal
- Wanting to be isolated from others
Signs of Financial Fraud or Exploitation
Fraud and exploitation in nursing homes can be identified by:
- Disappearance of personal items
- Sudden and unusual financial transactions
Sometimes there are not obvious signs of mistreatment from the resident, but the actions of the caregivers can be warning.
For example, if you arrive at a nursing home or adult care facility during regular hours and the staff refuses to admit you, or delays your admittance without cause, then this could be an indication of abuse or neglect. Furthermore, if a staff member refuses to leave the room during your visit, then this may be a sign that they have something to hide.
Remember, not all signs of abuse or neglect necessarily mean that the resident is getting mistreated. Speak to the facility management if you have questions about the care your loved one is receiving.
But if you believe your loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home or adult care facility, then don’t hesitate to contact a medical malpractice lawyer today.
Check out NursingHomeAbuseCenter.org and read our latest knowledge center article – 4 Types of Nursing Home Abuse – to learn more today.