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Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

When we help our elderly loved ones move into a nursing home, there are a lot of things on our minds. Will they want to sell their house? Will they be happy? Will you be able to visit them as often as you want? One question that typically isn’t on your mind is “Will I know if my loved one is subject to nursing home abuse?” Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is far too common and it’s something that should be on the radar of anyone who has a loved one living in a care facility. Looking out for the following signs may save a life.

  1. Mysterious bruises.  

The elderly bruise easily, but there’s usually an explanation behind any injury that leaves a mark. If your loved one has unexplained bruises, ask the staff what happened. If they don’t provide you with a satisfying answer, it could mean that the injury was the result of abuse or negligence. 

  1. Frequent confusing hospitalization.

If you get a call that your loved one is in the hospital, you’re likely to panic. Usually, you’re already aware of any medical issues that could have led to hospitalization. If they are hospitalized with no clear explanation as to why, and it doesn’t make sense with their known diagnoses, you need to ask questions. Again, no satisfying answer may mean abuse or negligence is at play.

  1. Changes in your loved one’s lucidity.

Some nursing homes use chemical restraints to keep residents safe and happy and to make nursing tasks easier. If your loved one doesn’t seem as “with it” as usually, find out why and see what can be done about it.

  1. Personality changes.

Victims of abuse may become withdrawn. Is your loved one isolating him- or herself? Probe gently to find out what’s wrong. It could just be tiredness or moodiness, but you need to make sure nothing more sinister is going on. If they won’t confide in you, consult the nursing home’s manager about the changes you have noticed.

  1. Acting fearful of staff.

Does your loved one flinch or go quiet when the nurse walks by? This may be a sign of a problem. If your loved one seems scared, it might be because they are experiencing abuse.

If you notice any of these signs of nursing home abuse, take heed. If you do not take the initiative to get to the bottom of the situation, it is likely no one will. If you believe that your elderly loved one is not being treated with the respect and dignity they deserve, the Goss Law team wants to help. Give us a call at 305-598-1344 to discuss your situation.

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