Nursing home abuse is a serious concern and anyone who has a loved one in a nursing home has probably thought about what goes on when they’re not there. Abuse can lead to serious injuries, as can neglect, and some of the worst cases could lead to fatal injuries.
To compound this issue, many elderly people have various physical or cognitive issues that may make it difficult for them to communicate about what is going on. They may not be able to tell you that they are being abused or explain what has been happening. That’s why it is so important for family members to understand what signs they can look for.
First and foremost, you always want to be on the lookout for injuries that don’t seem to have any other explanation. In some cases, these injuries may turn into infections. This doesn’t mean that every injury is a sign of abuse, but you want to be wary if the staff acts like they can’t explain it or doesn’t want to talk about the cause.
Suffering from abuse is emotionally difficult, so you may notice changes in your loved one’s personality or emotional state. Even if there are not physical injuries present, you want to ask yourself what caused this change to take place. It could be that they are experiencing some sort of abuse that doesn’t have the obvious outward signs.
Finally, you also just want to look for a general physical decline. This could include weight loss that happens quickly and unexpectedly. It could also include a lack of hygiene or dehydration and malnutrition. In some cases, abuse just means denying the person the food and drink that they need. You may never see an injury, but you can certainly see the way that the person’s physical health has changed.
What should you do?
If you do believe that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, then it’s very important for you to know about the legal steps you can take. Your loved one does not deserve that treatment, and it may be time for you to intervene to make sure that things improve.