How to talk with a loved one about nursing home abuse

You want your loved one to have a good time at the nursing home, but abuse runs rampant at certain institutions. When you visit your loved one, you want to keep an eye out for the signs of neglect, such as bedsores, poor personal hygiene, lack of mobility and psychological problems.

You may feel tempted to contact an attorney right away, but you should consider speaking with your loved one first. It does not hurt to get a complete picture of what has transpired. This can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it is critical to make sure your parent or grandparent does not suffer from abuse or neglect.

Initiate calmly

You do not want to dive right into a conversation about abuse and neglect. However, you can begin the discussion by asking something such as, "How do you feel about living here?" You can also ask questions about how he or she likes the employees. Pay attention to your loved one's body language during the response. If he or she appears uncomfortable, then it may be possible your loved one does not want to cause you any pain by admitting abuse has taken place. Regardless of the exact response, make it clear you are there to listen. You should serve as a loving ear, so do not interrupt the person as he or she responds. 

Ask about specific signs

In the event your loved one seems comfortable with it, you can ask about specific signs of abuse or neglect you noticed. There may be a noticeable bruise or marking, and you deserve to know how it occurred. Your loved one may have a reasonable explanation. 

Seek professional help

It is possible your loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimer's. In this instance, it is extremely difficult to have a fruitful conversation. Your best course of action is to consult a doctor or other professional to learn what steps you can take next. 

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