Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
If you have had to place your elderly loved one in a long-term care facility you probably did all your homework to make sure it was a good one. Sadly, even the best nursing homes can have hidden issues that you may not know about till it is too late. That is when it leads to nursing home abuse and it is a prevalent problem from issues like understaffing, improper training, and burnout.
As many as 1 in 3 older people have been victims of nursing home abuse. What makes this worse is 2 in 3 staff members have claimed they have abused or neglected residents. This is a serious problem but how do you spot the warning signs that this is happening to your loved one?
The Different Warning Signs
There are various types of abuse that range from physical, emotional, sexual, and financial. The worst part is some of the signs of abuse can range from subtle neglect to full-on physical abuse. Not everything is going to be clear and easy to see. However, knowing the signs is the first step in protecting your loved one.
Physical Abuse Warning Signs
Physical signs of abuse are often the first to be recognized, as they are often the easiest to see. However, they can range so here are some signs that physical abuse is happening:
- Bedsores/Pressure ulcers
- Broken bones
- Bruises, burns, or welts on the skin
- Cuts, lacerations, or skin tears
- Fatigue, insomnia, or other sleep disorders
- Head injuries
- Dental injuries
- Illness or infection that will not go away
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
Emotional and Sexual Abuse Warning Signs
The sad part is that often other forms of abuse are harder to notice. They can happen for a long time before the problem is addressed or even noticed. Keeping a close eye on how your loved one behaves is key to noticing the more subtle forms of abuse. Here are signs to look for:
- Anxiety and depression
- Lowered confidence
- Unexplained aggressive or violent behavior
- Substance abuse
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Bruises or welts around the genitals
- Inappropriate physical contact with staff members
- Unexplained STDs
- Fear around a particular staff member
- Refusing to talk around a staff member
Emotional and sexual abuse are some of the hardest to catch as they are easier to hide. If your loved one has a drastic behavior change then you need to start investigating. While change can bring on emotions if it is drastic or lasts longer than an adjustment period. Don’t hesitate to talk to your loved ones if you notice something is wrong.
If you suspect your elderly loved one is suffering from any kind of nursing home abuse it is in your best interest to talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer. Lawyers, like the dedicated team at Davis & Brusca, LLC, are here to help you and your family members get the help you deserve during times like this.