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What are some signs of nursing home abuse?

There comes a time in someone’s life that their loved ones may have to make the decision of putting them in a nursing home. This is not an easy decision to make and you want the best care for your parent(s) or grandparent(s). Even though a nursing home has its benefits, abuse is a prevalent issue among facilities nationwide.

As older people are frailer, they are less likely to stand up to abusive behavior. They may not be able to hear or see as well as they could before, putting them at a disadvantage among younger staff members. While signs of abuse can overlap with a weakened mind, it is important to know how to recognize abuse in nursing home facilities.

Physical abuse

  • Unexplained broken bones, dislocations or sprains
  • Bruising
  • Failing to take medications properly
  • Restraint marks
  • The caregiver refuses to let you be alone with a loved one

These are signs to look out for when identifying physical abuse in a nursing home. If your loved one has unexplained wounds, it could be from physical abuse, or an injury from trying to care for themselves. Negligence in a nursing home may lead a resident to try to do things on their own and are often incapable of doing so.

Emotional abuse

You may notice unusual behavior that is like symptoms of dementia – sucking one’s thumb or rocking behaviors. This type of abuse can be verbal and nonverbal. Humiliation and ridicule could have an emotional impact on the resident when they are often blamed, intimidated or isolated from social activities.

Financial exploitation

You’ll want to be aware of changes in the elderly person’s financial situation. Unexplained withdrawals from their bank accounts could be a sign that the facility or staff member is illegally taking the resident’s money. This may include forging a signature or coercing them to sign a document that they don’t understand.

Your loved one has the right to safe and clean care. Nursing home abuse victims are frail and vulnerable. Though many facilities take great care of their residents, abuse continues to be a concern among families.

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