When your loved one is staying in a nursing home, abuse and neglect are the last things you want to consider. Unfortunately, nursing home residents are often abused without anybody else ever knowing about it. When nursing home neglect does happen, many people have no idea what to do about the news. Noticing these signs of elder abuse and neglect in a nursing home can save your loved one’s life.
Signs of Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is the type of harm most commonly associated with nursing home abuse. It may involve hitting, pushing and restraining residents. As horrible as this sounds, it is often the easiest form of abuse to pinpoint because it often leaves behind physical evidence. Make sure that you make yourself open to hearing about alleged instances of abuse.
Look for bruises, bite marks and red marks that could have been caused by a slap or punch. Broken bones and sprains are commonly associated with physical abuse, as are broken personal items (like glasses or jewelry). You should also be suspicious if you notice that the caregiver does not give you time alone with your loved one or you see marks from restraints.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is hard to spot, especially when the victim intends to hide signs of emotional distress. Emotional abuse often involves humiliation, intimidation and neglect. You might notice tension and a fearful tone in the interactions your loved one has with the caregiver. Isolation is also a common tactic used by perpetrators to maintain silence.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Non-consensual sexual contact does occur in nursing homes, and the signs can be difficult to find. Emotional and physical abuse are also typically involved in sexual abuse of nursing home patients.
Sexual abuse commonly results in bruising around the breasts and groin. Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases are also common giveaways that abuse is occurring in the nursing home. Unfortunately, the signs are hard to see. It is possible that the vast majority of sexual abuse cases in nursing homes go unnoticed.
Signs of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse usually involves stealing money or property from a nursing home resident. The perpetrator may coerce a patient into providing information about one’s bank account or credit card. If you have access to your love one’s finances, keep an eye out for suspicious withdrawals. Unpaid bills and strange financial activity are big warning signs.
Signs of Neglect
Neglect, the failure to fulfill duties and obligations of a caregiver, is also common. In some cases, this neglect could be a sign of ignorance and is not actually intentional. Look for signs like weight loss, dehydration, bed sores and dirty living conditions. Ensure that your loved one is being bathed regularly, is given meals and is taking medication on schedule.
Are you still wondering what to do next? After reporting suspected abuse to your local authorities, you should consider hiring a lawyer. Nursing home neglect and abuse often lead to death, and you have the responsibility to protect your rights and the rights of your loved one. Contact us to learn more about your options.