It can be hard to find the right nursing home for your grandparents or parents. After all, you are depending on a company to care for and provide for your elderly loved ones in a similar way that you would. While the vast majority of care facilities in the United States are wonderful and filled with caring professionals who love what they do, there are terrifying incidents that every person who is thinking about finding a nursing home should know about.
Without a doubt, the most horrendous thing that can happen in a nursing home is a case of elderly abuse. Unfortunately, it is sometimes true that the signs of nursing home abuse are very hard to identify. If you are interested in learning about the signs because you are worried something might be happening, or if you just want to be prepared, Read here.
If you find yourself worrying that something may be occurring after reading this breakdown, it may be time to contact a lawyer today.
Most common types of nursing home abuse
One of the best ways that you can hope to identify nursing home abuse is to know what kinds of forms it can take. After all, it is hard to spot something if you do not know that you should be looking out for it. Because of that, familiarize yourself with the most common forms in which eldery abuse and nursing home abuse can take. Remember, some of these are highly disturbing, but learning about them now could help you save someone you love from becoming a victim:
- Unreasonable seclusion and or physical restraint
- Assault and battery such as pinching, slapping, kicking, shaking, and beating
- Threats and other types of verbal and emotional abuse
- Lack of care for existing medical issues
- Prolonged or continued deprivation of food or water
- Rape or other forms of sexual assault or battery
Most common signs of nursing home abuse
Now that you are aware of the most common types of nursing home abuse, take a deep breath and remind yourself that these incidents are quite rare. What you are doing now is simply a precaution to make sure that your grandfather or grandmother, dad or mom is not falling victim to these horrible crimes and abuses.
If you are worried that something is happening, consider these common signs that nursing home abuse is actually taking place. You will want to absolutely investigate further if your beloved eldery person is depicting:
- A desire to be isolated and left alone
- An unusual or dramatic change in behavior
- Unsanitary and unclean living conditions
- Unexplained injuries such as bruises, cuts, welts in different stages of healing
- Unexplained or unexpected death
- A reluctance to speak while in the presence of staff residents
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Bed sores
- Instance of wandering off of campus or trying to escape
- Recurring infections
- Falls, or injuries from falling
- Emotional mood swings such as being extremely upset or highly withdrawn
- Bed injuries
If any of these signs are ringing a bell, it may be time to seek legal help to make sure that your loved ones are safe in their nursing home.
What to do if you suspect nursing home abuse
Knowing the common signs of nursing home abuse is one thing, knowing what to actually do if you actually start seeing those scary signs is something else altogether.
If you suspect nursing home abuse, it is your job to take action as quickly as possible. Keep reading to learn about a comprehensive checklist of sorts that you can follow when it comes to reacting to possible elder abuse in a nursing home.
Approach the situation rationally
Your first reaction might be to panic and try to exert all of your anger and fear out in one fell swoop. As is the case with most things, this is not the best way to approach nursing home abuse. It is important for the sake of your loved one that you remain calm and seek a resolution in a reasonable and rational manner.
Question the staff
You should be willing to hear the nursing staff out and see what they have to say about the potential signs of nursing home abuse. The home management should be willing and able to explain the situation and explain the signs in a reasonable way.
Speak with your loved one
You should make a major effort to speak with your loved one privately without any nursing home staff present. If the nursing home does not allow for this for any reason, you will want to take immediate action. In that event, it is now time to report the suspected abuse and/or seek the counsel of an experienced legal professional who specializes in these types of cases.
Take notes and do research
Top caregivers will not be worried about answering your every question, but even if they do seem to answer honestly, make sure to take notes about anything that seems off or any other signs of abuse for your loved ones or other residents. Learn as much as you can about a specific incident or incidents to build your case that abuse or negligence is taking place.
Contact the authorities
If there is no doubt that abuse is taking place or if you are worried that your loved one may be in imminent danger, it is time to contact the police. At the very least, you will be asked to file an official complaint and you may have to ask police to intervene to make sure that your loved one or other residents are safe.
Report all suspected abusers
Make sure to leave no names off the list in order to protect residents of the nursing home and make sure that no abusers go unpunished.
Consult a lawyer
If you have not already, it is time to contact a lawyer to talk about the next steps in terms of making sure that your loved one is protected and properly compensated for the pain and suffering they have endured.