Did you know that almost 1,800 elderly adults living in nursing homes die as a result of fall-related injuries? These falls may be a sign of elder abuse in nursing homes.
If you are unsure if your loved one is being abused in their nursing home, then you should know the top signs since it could be a matter of life or death. To understand what the top signs are, keep reading below.
1. Unclean living Conditions
When you place your loved one in a nursing home, you are expecting them to live in nice conditions that cater to them. This is also something nursing homes are required to do, provide residents with safe and clean living conditions. If you notice that the nursing home is not sanitary or clean, then this is considered nursing home abuse.
You will notice if the nursing home is not clean if they do not seem to clean the bathrooms or the kitchen area. If your loved one’s bedsheets have not been changed in a while, this is another sign that the facility is unclean.
2. Your Loved One Has Poor Personal Hygiene
Nurses and other staff employed by nursing homes are expected to help with the basic personal hygiene of all residents. It is not a secret that many residents living in nursing homes need help in areas such as getting dressed, cutting nails, brushing teeth, brushing hair, and even bathing.
If you notice that your loved one is not being bathed regularly or not keeping up with themselves, then this could be a sign of elder abuse in nursing homes. This could be due to the nursing home not having enough staff to take care of the number of residents. This leads to hygiene being neglected and could even show that the staff does not have the proper education in health care.
3. Your Loved One Is Experiencing Psychological Problems
Neglect is a form of abuse. It is known that abuse can cause emotional issues, and this is especially true in elderly residents that experience nursing home abuse. When visiting your loved one, pay close attention to how they react to the staff and caregivers in the nursing home.
If they appear to be afraid of the caregivers and staff, this could be a psychological sign of nursing home abuse and neglect. Even if your loved one seems to have trouble talking about problems they have while in the presence of the staff, or becomes easily angry, fearful or frustrated around the staff, this could be a big red flag. Depression is a psychological problem that can arise from nursing home abuse.
If you notice your loved one becoming distant from friends and family, this can be a telltale sign of depression. They are closing themselves off and going deep into a depressive state. Any emotional changes seen in your loved one should be taken seriously and monitored very closely.
4. They Have Lack of Nutrition
Loved ones who are neglected can have physical problems such as malnutrition. Neglect can even lead to dehydration, which can cause a host of additional problems in elderly patients.
Malnutrition and dehydration can be caused by a lack of care or lack of staff in the nursing home. Especially if the nursing home seems to have a high turnover rate, this could lead to elderly residents falling through the cracks.
5. Random Injuries Pop Up
When visiting your loved one, you should pay close attention to any injuries they obtain, especially if you suspect abuse. Any injuries such as broken bones, head injuries, or unexplained bruises can be a big sign of nursing home abuse.
These injuries may not be caused by the staff directly, but a result of the neglect your loved one is facing. If your loved one is not receiving the care they need, such as regular bathing or changing clothes, they may attempt to do it themselves. This can then lead to them falling and hurting themselves, resulting in broken bones and bruises.
Even if the first fall does not seem to be fatal, the next one could be. This is why you should consult the staff if you notice anything out of the ordinary with your loved one. If it keeps happening, it may be time to call a nursing home abuse attorney.
6. Loss of Movement
Moving can be a challenge for those who live withing nursing homes. An adequate nursing home will make sure residents move around regularly or even change positions in their beds regularly to ensure they do not become stiff or get bedsores.
Nursing homes should have programs in place that ensure each resident is getting exercise and moving regularly. This will help to ensure that their muscles are getting a proper workout and to help ensure they are getting enough circulation.
If you notice that your loved one is being left in bed for long periods of time and has several bedsores or other wounds, this may be a sign of neglect. Even if your loved one seems to be less mobile and not able to do some physical activities, they could previously do, this can be a sign that they are not being exercised. If you notice these signs, you should report nursing home abuse as soon as possible.
7. Deflected Questions
If you find that the staff is deflecting or ignoring your questions, this could mean that abuse and neglect are actively happening within the nursing home. If you ask a question and find that the staff continually does not know the answer and cuts your conversation short, you should be taking this as a red flag.
When asking a question, if the staff does not know the answer, they should be upfront with you and tell you that they do not know, but they will find out and get back to you as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the questions you ask about the health of your loved one should have an immediate answer.
If you are curious about your loved one’s health and the plan to get them back on track, the nurse should have an answer and game plan ready. If they seem not to know what is going on or even do not have a clear plan, it is time to keep an eye on the care of your loved one.
8. Staff Is Not up to Par
We have noted above that a lot of abuse and neglect comes from a staff that is not educated or adequate to be working in the nursing home. Whenever you visit your loved one, you should pay close attention to the staff and how they act.
A staff that is thin and busy may come off as frantic and chaotic. If this is the case, then it is a sign that the elderly living in the home may not be getting the attention and care that they need.
If the staff seems to have a negative attitude and things seem to be lost when it is time for a shift change, then it is okay to question if your loved one is being neglected. Do not overlook these issues. If it seems like a problem, further investigate.
9. Pay Attention to What Your Loved One Says
When you visit your loved one, you should pay close attention to what they say to you in regards to the staff and nursing home itself. If your loved one says they do not want a certain caregiver helping them, that may be due to the fact they are being abused or neglected by this caretaker.
Your loved one should never feel distressed or uncomfortable around a staff member or in the nursing home as a whole. If they express this to you, then it is time to start looking into the abuse that may be happening within the facility.
Now You Know the Signs of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
We have provided you with the top telltale signs of elder abuse in nursing homes. From paying attention to the way your loved one acts towards the staff and facility to paying attention to their personal hygiene, you now know the top signs of elder abuse.
If your loved one experiences any of these signs, be sure to take action so they can live in a place the fits their needs and is comfortable for them. For more legal tips and information, be sure to check out the rest of our website.