by HGD Staff
The decision to move an elder loved one into a nursing home is never an easy one. It is also an important decision that should never be taken lightly. You need to do a lot of research into the nursing homes in your area before deciding which one will be home for your loved one. Just because you need to move a loved one into a nursing home does not mean that you are a bad son or daughter or that you do not love your family member. Instead, it means that you do not have the necessary equipment or skills to care for your loved one’s needs. It also might mean that he or she cannot be alone and that you still work full-time. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure you know how to spot the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Noticeable Emotional Changes
A common sign of nursing home abuse and neglect is a noticeable change in the emotional state of your loved one. Does he or she routinely look depressed or anxious? Is he or she more stressed than usual? If so, your elderly loved one could be facing abuse at a nursing home or assisted living facility. Does your loved one no longer take part in activities offered at the nursing home? Has he or she become withdrawn when talking to you or staff members? Does your loved one refrain from talking to you while staff members are in the room? These are all situations you must examine closely as they could indicate abuse or neglect.
Is the Staff Turnover High?
Each time you visit your loved one, are you presented with a new face you have never seen before? Are you constantly being introduced to new staff members? If so, this could indicate a problem with the care being provided to your family member. High staff turnover at nursing homes is not uncommon. In fact, it is a serious problem at nursing homes across the country. When there is not enough staff at the nursing home, current employees could be asked to work more than they physically can, which can lead to negligent care and mistakes.
Is Your Loved One Dehydrated?
Have you noticed that your loved one seems emaciated or dehydrated? If so, he or she might be the victim of nursing home abuse. Your loved one might not be receiving the proper amount of food, water, and other nutrients needed to remain healthy. This could be due to understaffing. It could also be due to the neglect of the staff or the actions could be intentionally carried out by the staff members.
Physical Signs of Abuse
Has your loved one exhibited signs of physical abuse since moving into the nursing home? If so, you need to bring it to the attention of the people in charge of the home immediately. Physical signs you should be on the lookout for include the following:
- Unexplained bruises, broken bones, scars, or other problems
- Broken glasses
- Welts, bruises, or bed sores on their body
- Signs of rope marks on their ankles or wrists
- Failure to take the proper medications
- The caregiver will not let you be alone with your loved one
Signs of Sexual Abuse
It is not uncommon for residents of nursing homes to suffer sexual abuse at the hands of their caretakers. Signs of sexual abuse include the following:
- Torn underwear
- Bloody or torn clothing
- Genital infections
- Unexplained STDs
- Bleeding from the anus or vagina that is not related to any existing medical conditions
- Bruising around the breasts or genitals
Signs of Financial Abuse
Nursing home abuse does not only include physical or emotional abuse. It also includes financial abuse of the elderly. You need to be on the lookout for possible signs of financial abuse, such as:
- Changes in your loved one’s will or estate plan
- Withdrawals from your loved one’s checking or savings accounts that cannot be explained
- Cash that has gone missing from his or her room
- Withdrawals from ATMs when the loved one is bedridden
- Unusual purchase activity for subscriptions, goods, or other services
- Changes to life insurance policies, powers of attorney, property titles, and other legal documents
- Names that have been added to the loved one’s credit card signature cards
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
Has your loved one exhibited any of the warning signs of nursing home abuse mentioned in this post? If so, you need to protect his or her rights immediately by speaking to an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney. Call the office of Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC at (205) 301-6621 to schedule a consultation today.