Nursing home residents are often unable to report abuse. They may suffer from Alzheimer's, dementia or other medical conditions that prevent them from communicating, or even understanding, what is happening to them at the hands of negligent or abusive nursing home staff. It is up to family members to be diligent and spot signs of mistreatment.
Here are 5 signs of nursing home abuse to watch for:
1. Unexplained Injuries
You have the right to expect an explanation for any injury you see on your loved one's body, from bruises to cuts to broken bones. If you are noticing injuries on a regular basis and nobody at the nursing home is able to offer a reasonable explanation, your loved one may be the victim of mistreatment.
Bedsores are one of the biggest threats to elderly people with mobility issues. Nursing home staff should take preventative measures to avoid bedsores, primarily moving your loved one so he or she does not lie in bed or sit in a wheelchair in the same position for too long. Furthermore, when a bedsore does occur, it should be treated immediately to prevent infection. All too often, infected bedsores are the result of carelessness.
If your normally talkative loved one suddenly stops talking or doesn't want to leave his or her room, it could be a sign of abuse. Be aware that abuse is not always physical. It may be emotional or psychological as well. All of these types of abuse may lead a nursing home resident to withdraw and become noncommunicative.
4. Personality Changes
In addition to withdrawal, there are other personality changes that may signal abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident. Unusually aggressive behaviors such as biting or a sudden fear of being touched may be the result of larger problems.
5. Weight Loss
Weight loss may be a sign of malnutrition, which could be the result of negligent nursing home staff failing to feed your loved one. It is the responsibility of nursing home staff to feed your loved one and keep him or her healthy, regardless of your loved one's appetite.
6. Fear Of Speaking Around Staff
When you visit your loved one in the nursing home, does he or she want to go somewhere away from staff? Do you notice sudden quietness when certain staff members enter the room? This could be a sign of abuse.
If You See Signs Of Abuse, Contact A Lawyer
Attorney James Arruebarrena offers free case evaluations in nursing home injury cases.