Whenever you commit to caring for an aging parent and finding them the perfect nursing home, you don’t expect to encounter any serious nursing home problems or disasters. No one considers the potential for nursing home abuse.
Research suggests that up to 10% (1 in 10) elders in nursing homes experience abuse. This makes it far more common than most people assume.
But how can you notice the signs of abuse that you should be looking out for? We’re here to offer advice. Keep reading to learn some of the key signs that something is amiss in your loved one’s nursing home.
Personality or Mood Changes
When someone is in full-time nursing home care, it’s likely that they won’t be able to effectively communicate what’s happening to them. This vulnerability and inability to communicate is what makes these people so susceptible to abuse.
Even if clear communication isn’t possible, you can still identify mood or personality changes that seem unusual. Keep in mind that these changes aren’t uncommon in elderly people who are experiencing cognitive decline, but you should still investigate them. If your loved one is more irritable, skittish, or unwilling to communicate than normal, it might be time to look into the potential for nursing home abuse.
It’s not uncommon for elderly people to harm themselves, but in a good nursing home with attentive staff, these injuries are few and far between and someone will take care of them right away.
When you visit your loved one, do you notice bedsores, bruises, or scrapes? What about sprains or even broken bones? If so, talk to the staff to see if there’s a reasonable and believable explanation and note these problems to investigate them further.
Weight Loss or Gain
Again, weight loss and weight gain aren’t abnormal for people who are in their twilight years. As people get older, they tend to be more sedentary and they eat less. These changes will have an effect on their weight.
That said, excessive and unexplained weight gain or loss may be a sign of malnutrition. When a nursing home is caring for the elderly, they need to provide nutritious meals. If they don’t, it’s considered nursing home neglect.
In extreme cases, neglect turns into abuse.
Defensive Staff Members
When you visit a nursing home, staff members should be happy to show you around the grounds, answer your questions, and address your concerns. Their goal is to make you and your loved one as comfortable as possible.
If this doesn’t happen, it should be a cause for concern.
While the previous signs can be normal for elderly people, it’s still important to bring them up to their caregivers. If the caregivers refuse to give straight answers, they get defensive, or they don’t seem to have explanations, it’s a sign that something is going on behind the scenes.
Nursing Home Abuse: It Could Happen to You
Nursing home abuse isn’t as rare as you’d like to think that it is. In reality, many elderly people who are unable to advocate for themselves experience abuse from caregivers.
Learn how to spot the signs of nursing home abuse so you can get your loved one out of this situation. For more helpful articles about legal issues and more, visit the rest of our site.