Instances of nursing home abuse have become more prevalent in recent years, and families of elderly nursing home patients need to be aware of the common signs of nursing home abuse. In many cases, the elderly victim fails to report the abuse due to embarrassment or fear of retaliation by their abuser. Sometimes the elderly victim suffers from a severe disability or illness that hinders their ability to report abusive behavior. For these reasons, families cannot rely solely on the information provided by their elderly loved one to establish whether or not abuse is occurring in the nursing home. If an elderly loved one can and does report abuse, the family needs to take immediate action to stop these illegal actions and protect the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their elderly loved one.
There are several signs of which families should be aware that may be indicative of nursing home abuse. Physical injuries, neglect, and emotional or behavioral changes are reliable indicators of nursing home abuse. Physical injuries include things such as bed sores, broken bones, bruises, head injuries, an overdose of medication, or any other type of unexplained injury or physical state. Soiled bed linens, poor hygiene, dehydration, or malnourishment are all signs of neglect, which is a form of abuse. Elderly abuse victims may exhibit emotional or behavior changes that include things such as agitation, fear, withdrawal, crying, or complaints about poor treatment by nursing home staff. Any recognized signs of abuse should be taken seriously and should be reported to the proper authorities. Also, nursing home abuse victims should have skilled and experienced legal representation.
Other signs of abuse that families of nursing home residents will want to be aware include things such as the refusal of staff to allow the family to see their loved one or unexplained delays regarding family visits with their loved one. The nursing home staff that are abusing an elderly patient may not allow the family to be alone with their loved one. The family may notice that a deep-seated tension is present or that frequent arguments occur between the nursing home staff and their loved one. If this type of behavior is occurring, it could indicate that a family’s loved one is indeed the victim of nursing home abuse. When nursing home abuse is either suspected or confirmed, a lawyer should be contacted as soon as possible.