Posted on: 14 October 2020Share
Although not talked about a lot, abuse of the elderly is a common occurrence in this country. Even more common is the abuse that is found in nursing homes. Part of the issue is that these people are dependent upon their caretakers and are not likely to speak out, and their caretakers are also not relatives who love them. Because of this problem, you should be aware of the signs of abuse in a nursing home.
1. They seem confused
There can be reasons for this other than abuse. For example, your loved one may be experiencing an onset of dementia. This is something you need to speak to a doctor about. However, confusion can also be a sign that a nursing home resident is being given too much medication or a medicine that will sedate them. You should always check with the doctor or nurse at the facility to rule out all possibilities.
2. You notice bruises or cuts
Although there can be many reasons for a bruise or cut, what you need to be alert to are the frequency of their appearance and the explanation for them. When you visit the nursing home, you may notice a bruise or cut, but when you ask about it, no one seems to know how it got there. The next time you visit, you could notice a new cut or bruise but in a different location. A persistent appearance of bruises or lacerations with little or no explanations represents a pattern that should make you very concerned.
3. They aren't acting like themselves
You know your loved one best, but you may notice a change that has taken place. Perhaps they seem to be irritable all the time, or they are not as talkative as they normally are. They have become withdrawn and are not as engaging in conversation about their life or yours. This can be a sign of abuse. Not necessarily a physical abuse but a psychological one. If an elderly person is constantly screamed at and threatened, this treatment will manifest itself as a change in their normal behavior. When confronted about this abuse, they become agitated or simply deny it because they fear retribution if they speak about it.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home that you suspect is suffering from abuse, you should speak to a doctor first. Many reasons could explain an elderly person's condition that is not related to abuse. But if your suspicions go unabated, then you should consult with a nursing home abuse attorney. Although there are government agencies in your state that may offer help, a nursing home abuse attorney can give you specific advice for your situation.