Nursing Home Abuse: 8 Things to Look Out For
When an elderly relative can no longer be left alone or live at home safely, the options narrow dramatically, and in some cases, nursing home care may be the only viable choice left. The decision to put an elderly loved one into a nursing home is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking choices a family member can make. Whether the issues that precipitated the nursing home decision are related to dementia, frailty or other factors, it is important for family members to make sure their loved ones are safe. And while most nursing home administrators and front-line workers do a stellar job, others are not so diligent. If you suspect a loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home or assisted care facility, you should trust your instincts. And if you see any of the signs listed below, you need to get your loved one help and contact a St. Louis elder abuse attorney immediately.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
1. Changes in the behavior of your loved ones
You know your loved one better than anyone, and any sudden change in behavior, demeanor, or outlook should be cause for concern. If your formerly outgoing parent is now sullen and withdrawn, you should start asking questions. The relationship between a nursing home resident and caregiver should be a friendly and cooperative one.
2. Tension between resident and caregiver
Obvious tension between your loved one and the people who care for them should be cause for concern. Whether the underlying issue is abuse, neglect, or simple incompetence, finding out the cause of the tension should be your number one priority.
3. Unexplained bruises, including bedsores
If you see any new bruises on your loved one’s body, you need to ask some hard questions. Whether those bruises were caused when a worker dropped your loved one or they might be the result of deliberate abuse, there is simply no excuse for this kind of behavior. You should also look for bedsores, which could be signs your loved one is not receiving the attention they deserve.
4. Problems with medication compliance
Part of the job of the nursing home staff is to make sure residents take their medications as prescribed. If there are problems with medication compliance, additional negligence could be hiding right beneath the surface.
5. Frequent hospitalizations
An increase in hospital stays or frequent emergency room visits could be signs of an underlying issue with care at the nursing home. If those hospital stays are getting more frequent, it is time to get answers.
6. Signs of restraint, like rope marks on ankles or wrists
Incompetent or overworked nursing home workers have sometimes resorted to restraint in an attempt to control nursing home residents. Those restraint episodes can leave behind telltale signs, including rope burns at the ankles and wrists, so take a look and know what to look for.
7. Reluctance with regard to private conversations
If the caregivers and/or administrators at the nursing home are reluctant to let you talk privately with your loved one, that is a major red flag. They could be hiding abuse and worried that you will discover the issue.
8. Missing personal possessions
If you begin to notice things going missing, you should inquire further. Theft is not uncommon, and you may need to hire a St. Louis nursing home abuse attorney to deal with the crime and recover your loved one’s possessions.
Hopefully, you will never see any of these telltale signs of nursing home abuse, negligence, or incompetence. Hopefully, your loved one will settle in well after a brief period of adjustment, making new friends, experiencing fun outings, and enjoying a whole new way of life. But if you are concerned about the care your loved one is receiving in the nursing home, you should not stay quiet.
As a loving family member, it is up to you to be the voice of the nursing home resident. The decision to put a loved one in a nursing home may be unavoidable, but abuse and neglect are eminently avoidable. So trust your instincts, watch out for the warning signs and be ready to call an experienced St. Louis nursing home neglect lawyer at the first sign of trouble.
A qualified St. Louis nursing home negligence attorney at Wolfgram Law can help you gather evidence, allowing you to verify your suspicions and get your loved one the help they need and deserve. Contact Wolfgram Law now!