At some point in their lives, about 70% of the elderly population need long-term care services away from home. This has led to the rise of assisted living facilities, better known as nursing homes.
Here, the elderly people are provided with care that they can no longer get from their homes. They are assisted in movement, getting in and out of bed, feeding, bathing, and dressing.
The choice to leave a loved one at a nursing home may not be easy owing to the numerous reports of the abuse that take place in the facilities. Therefore, it is paramount that you are keen when choosing the nursing home you would like to admit your loved one to.
But the buck doesn’t stop there. When you visit your loved one in a nursing home, there are numerous signs you should look out for that can tell if they are experiencing abuse in the nursing home.
In the case that you detect any of these signs, it would be wise to contact a nursing home abuse attorney to take action against the nursing home for harming your loved one. That said, here are seven signs that you need to keep a watchful eye out for.
1. Poor Personal Hygiene
Hygiene is a very important factor in the well-being of your elderly loved one. You will notice your loved one is not well taken care of if they are wearing dirty clothes, exuding bad odor and their beddings are dirty. These are signs that their sanitary needs are being neglected which might have an adverse effect on their overall health.
Neglect is a form of abuse for your loved one and a nursing home is a place where cleanliness is paramount. So, if your loved one seems uncomfortable with their living standards, ask the assigned caregiver to work on the cleanliness or look for another nursing home.
2. Unexplained Broken Bones
The elderly become more delicate with age and need to be treated with utmost care. However, some nursing homes do not provide the level of care needed to maintain their health.
As such, broken bones and fractured limbs could also be a sign that your loved one has been experiencing abuse from caregivers. If that’s the case, then do not hesitate to contact a nursing home abuse attorney to report elderly abuse at the facility.
3. Dehydration and Malnutrition
Some elderly loved ones may be suffering from various illnesses caused by old age. Some of these illnesses may cause difficulty in their nutrition and need a special diet. Therefore, a nursing home should make sure that they provide the right nutritional support for all their patients, including your loved ones.
If your loved one is not suffering from any illness that might cause them to have dry mouth, swollen tongue, and cracked lips, it is a warning sign that they are not their nutritional needs are not being met.
4. Withdrawal and Agitation
When your loved one is no longer interested in activities that they previously enjoyed, it is a sign that something is going wrong and they might be experiencing some sort of abuse from the nursing home caregivers.
They might become less social and experience mood swings which could be due to neglect or emotional abuse. Some may become fussy and act out when you visit them. If your loved one is showing these signs, you may consider contacting a nursing home abuse attorney to advise on the way forward.
5. Rapid Weight Loss
Losing weight gradually is normal but when significant weight is lost in a short time, it could be a sign that your loved one is not being well-fed or is not taking the required medication for their well-being.
It means the nursing home caregivers are not fulfilling their role in ensuring that your loved one is receiving the proper nutrition and hydration necessary to maintain their health. People experiencing stress due to unhealthy living conditions, mental and emotional abuse could also show signs of weight loss.
6. Bedsores on Loved Ones
The elderly are at risk of experiencing pressure ulcers especially if they are immobile and need to stay in bed or move around in wheelchairs. As such, extra care is needed to help move them around so you might want to check if your loved one has any sores or open wounds.
Bedsores and wounds may not necessarily be due to abuse but sometimes they are signs of neglect. Nevertheless, don’t hesitate to contact a nursing home abuse attorney to file a complaint on the abuse.
7. Anxiety and Depression
Emotional abuse is one of the worst kinds of abuse that your loved one may be experiencing in a nursing home. Your loved one may be experiencing belittling and threats from the caregiver which might cause them to change their usual demeanor. The caregivers may also be embarrassing them and causing them to feel unwanted.
It might be difficult to notice anxiety or depression from a loved one and brush it off as a mood change but with consistent visits, you can determine the possibility that your loved one is experiencing abuse.
If you notice such changes in your loved one, it could be time to contact a nursing home abuse attorney.
When to Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing abuse, you want to make frequent visits to the facility just to be sure. So, make sure you regularly check on your elderly loved ones in nursing homes and use your best judgment to determine any form of abuse, physical, mental, and emotional that they may be experiencing.
Once you do confirm that they are experiencing any form of neglect or physical and emotional abuse, try and reach out to a nursing home abuse attorney. A nursing home abuse attorney is a personal injury lawyer that will represent many complaints about the type of abuse that your loved one might be experiencing.
By contacting a nursing home abuse attorney, you will save not just your loved one but other elderly people who have no one to represent them from experiencing such kinds of abuse.