When someone you love is in a nursing home, you want to be sure that they get the right care. The last thing you’d ever want to find out is that they’ve been a victim of abuse at the hands of those who were meant to care for them.
Unfortunately, data has shown that around one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced elder abuse. This abuse is more likely because of mental impairment and social isolation, which is more likely to impact the elderly.
Perhaps more shockingly is that two out of three nursing home staff members admitted to committing abuse in the last year, based on information from the World Health Organization.
How can you spot the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect?
The physical signs are the first thing to look for. These may be signs such as:
- Unusual bruising
- Significant changes in behavior/developing new mental health conditions
- Lacerations or cuts
- Unusual falls or injuries
Any time your loved one is hurt in a nursing home, you should take the time to find out what happened and who was involved. If your loved one is able to talk about it, take them out of the nursing home (when possible) and have a conversation about the incident.
How can you spot subtle signs of abuse?
Some abuse isn’t as obvious as the physical signs. There will still be red flags to look for, though. For instance, you can keep an eye on your loved one’s banking statements if you think that someone is stealing from them. You should take them to regular medical appointments outside the facility for checkups, especially in sensitive areas.
Look for changes in behavior, because those are the most likely to give away that there is a problem.
What should you do if you believe neglect or abuse is taking place?
If you believe that neglect or abuse is taking place, then talk to the nursing home director and your attorney. If your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911 and wait for help. You need to be an advocate for them, so don’t be afraid to raise your concerns.