Nursing homes are charged with taking care of the most vulnerable within our communities. Often, residents cannot advocate for themselves, so others need to look for signs of abuse and act if necessary. If your loved one is in a nursing home, make sure that you’re always keeping an eye out for signs of abuse and/or neglect.
Injuries are one of the easiest signs of nursing home abuse to spot. If your loved one has unexplained injuries such as bruises, fractures, cuts, or bedsores, it’s time to look at the situation closely. The case needs to be investigated to check if the injuries are due to poor care and not medications or unavoidable accidents. If you cannot find a reasonable explanation for the injuries, you can file charges against the nursing home.
It’s normal to experience some changes while adjusting to living in a nursing home. However, marked emotional changes, such as agitation, depression, or anxiety, could signify that the nursing home staff is emotionally abusing your loved one. Emotional abuse can also cause nursing home residents to withdraw. If your loved one is exhibiting any of these signs, make sure it’s not a matter of adjusting to life in the nursing home. If it isn’t, it’s time to investigate the nursing home.
Dehydration and Malnourishment
Sadly, many nursing home patients don’t get enough to eat or drink. This usually happens when the nursing home doesn’t have enough high-quality staff members to care for the patients. Your loved one can go downhill quickly if no adequate food and water are provided. If you notice any signs of malnourishment or dehydration, your loved one’s life could be at risk.
Proper hygiene is a critical component of care. If your loved one looks unwashed and unkempt, the nursing home might not be giving the necessary care. Also, hygiene extends to bedding and clothing. If the nursing home isn’t taking the time to follow good hygiene practices, there’s no telling where else they are failing your loved one.
Discomfort With a Staff Member
If your loved one voices concern about a staff member or acts differently when that person is around, it could be a sign of possible abuse. Far too often, loved ones dismiss this sign due to cognitive issues people can face as they age. While you shouldn’t jump to conclusions, you do need to investigate to see if there is a reason behind the discomfort.
Lack of Responsiveness
Has your loved one complained about the staff taking too long to respond after pressing the call button? A staff member should go to the room promptly if this button is pushed. Push it yourself and time the staff. If it takes them too long to get to the room, your loved one could be in danger. Think of it this way. What if your mother or father needs to use the restroom and pushes the button for assistance, but no one comes? Your loved one will get up and go to the bathroom alone and could fall. This is a serious problem.
Nursing home abuse isn’t always emotional, physical, or neglectful. It can also be financial. If you see unexplained financial withdrawals or missing property, you need to take action. Someone could be stealing from the resident.
Don’t Forget About Your Gut
These are all common signs of nursing home abuse. If you’re feeling like something is “off”, trust your instincts – they can be a powerful tool when protecting your loved one. If something doesn’t seem right, take action to find out if your loved one is at risk. That gut feeling could end up saving a life.
If nursing home abuse is something that you feel is occurring or has occurred, please don’t hesitate to give Friedman Law Offices, in Lincoln, Nebraska, a call. We represent individuals throughout the state of Nebraska and would be happy to review your case.