How to identify signs of nursing home abuse

When you put your parents in a nursing home, you only want the best for them. Unfortunately, many elderly citizens become hurt in nursing homes each year, either intentionally or unintentionally. A report from the Nursing Home Abuse Guide showed nearly a third of nursing homes faced abuse charges between 1999 and 2001. Things have gotten better since that time, but it is still a prevalent issue. 

The people at the nursing home are unlikely to report abuse. Therefore, it is up to family members and loved ones to take note of anything suspicious. There are various signs of nursing home abuse, and it is important to take any suspicions seriously. 

Physical abuse

Physical violence is the most common type of nursing home abuse. Family members should be mindful if a loved one has any of the following. 

  • Cuts and scratches
  • Burns
  • Bruises that wrap around an arm or leg
  • Missing hair or teeth
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Sprained joints

Many times, the elderly will not give an explanation for these injuries because they fear repercussions from staff. Pay attention to a loved one's responses when asked about physical changes, and be cognizant of any emotional changes as well. 

Emotional abuse

If a loved one was ordinarily the life of a party but now has become reclusive and quiet, then something could be amiss. Some elderly citizens are emotionally abused by staff members, and that can include isolation or verbal beratings. In addition to the physical appearance of a senior citizen, people should be aware of living conditions. Staff members should clean residents' rooms on a regular basis. If the room is in a state of disarray, then it is a sign of negligence. 

Financial exploitation

Senior citizens face an increased risk of financial exploitation. Staff members may take advantage of someone's confused state and take money. Anyone with a family member in a nursing home should keep tabs on her or his financial accounts to make sure there are no strange purchases. 

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