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What are the Leading Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?

The act of abusing the most vulnerable people in assisted living facilities is disgusting and abhorrent. Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every ten elders who are above the age of 60 has been abused. Therefore, it is very important for family members who have loved ones in these assisted living homes to remain vigilant and learn the signs of abuse so they can shield and protect their loved ones. Keeping track of these sudden changes can save your loved one’s life and you can qualify for compensation for any damages.

Signs of abuse in nursing homes

Unexplained bruises and injuries

Physical abuse will manifest through unexplained injuries like bruising, skin tears, cuts, and more. Other signs of physical abuse include having broken bones, broken possessions like glasses, getting startled easily, and withdrawing socially. Although it is not uncommon for the elderly to easily get accidental bruising, when it becomes a common pattern, then it could indicate the resident is being physically abused. If you see your loved one has sustained injuries, ask about how they occurred and be careful about answers that do not add up or make sense.

Sudden change in behavior and mood

You know your family member or relative better than anyone else and you may be able to tell if they are being abused. Sometimes when people are being abused, they may change their behavior or mood. For example, if your loved one is displaying signs of fear, anxiety, agitation, embarrassment, anger, or depression, it could indicate they are being abused. Thus, even if there are no physical signs of abuse, it does not mean that there isn’t emotional abuse. Check-in with your loved ones when you see them notice any of these changes.

Unexplained STIs

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Unfortunately, sexual abuse may occur in assisted living homes and may go undetected. This can happen when people least expect it, and no one wants a loved one to go through this type of situation. Signs of sexual abuse include bruises around genitals and breasts, blood on linen and clothing, stained or torn underwear, unexplained STIs, and anal or vaginal bleeding. Sexual abuse involves all forms of unwanted sexual interaction like sexual harassment, sexual contact, or penetration. If you notice your loved one acting differently and start to notice these signs, check in with them as soon as you can.

Dehydration and malnutrition

When the staff at the assisted living facilities neglect the basic needs of the elderly residents, there could be signs of physical deterioration. For instance, a neglected resident may become emaciated. You should look out for common signs of neglect like weakness, dry mouth, reduced urination, swollen tongue, cracked lips, and more. This type of behavior from the staff should not be tolerated as they are meant to take care of your loved one. If they fail to do so you should seek legal help immediately.

Poor sanitation and hygiene

If you pay a visit to your loved one in the facility and notice that their clothes or bedding are soiled, the room is dirty or they have not been bathed, it could indicate he or she is being neglected or abused. It is unhealthy for any person to live in those conditions and your loved one should not have to go through that. Reach out to the staff to check in on the situation. Your loved one deserves the proper care and treatment from the facility.

Changes in their finances or property

Sometimes, the elderly can unfortunately be financially exploited. Common signs of financial abuse among the elderly include unpaid bills, missing money or belongings, unnecessary subscriptions or purchases, and changes in power of attorney. It’s important to keep track of your loved one’s expenses when they reside in a home. These details can fall through the cracks when you aren’t paying attention. Always make sure you understand where the money is going and who is spending said money.

Conclusion

If your loved one has been mistreated and is in danger, you can call 911. In addition, you should also contact a nursing home lawyer who can help you pursue legal action through a nursing home abuse claim and seek compensation. You can use the money to transfer your loved one to a safe facility that will properly care for them. Your loved one deserves to be taken care of in a safe environment. If a facility fails to provide that care, you are allowed to seek legal action on your loved one’s behalf.

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