Identifying Signs of Elder and Nursing Home Abuse – Noticing the Telltale Signs
Author: Daniel Berry.
Elder abuse is a serious problem in assisted-living homes for seniors, in hospitals, and even with at-home care providers for the elderly. It is unfortunate that such tragedies should befall people in their golden years, but statistics estimate that roughly one third of nursing home facilities have been cited for instances of elder abuse in the United States.
While you cannot always prevent your loved one from being abused by a care provider, you can at the very least identify the telltale signs of elder abuse and report the abusive care provider as soon as possible. Below are some tips to help you identify if a senior citizen you love has been subjected to abuse.
Unexplained Signs of Injury
If your loved one has cuts, bruises, abrasions, or other signs of injury that are unexplained, they should be reported immediately for further investigation. Signs such as these are often the most obvious indicators of abuse. Be sure to note any bleeding or torn garments as well, since both of these are frequently seen in abuse cases. You may also want to check for venereal diseases or other injuries to the genital area as this could be a sign of sexual abuse or rape.
Dehydration or Emaciation
One of the more frequent ways in which a senior citizen may be abused is through deprivation of food and water. If you notice that your loved one is gaunt or is suffering from any signs of dehydration, this should be noted and reported immediately.
Following some form of abuse, a person is often subject to behavioral changes. Someone may appear quiet, depressed, withdrawn, or afraid. Should this happen to your loved one, you must report this to the proper authorities so that a full investigation may be performed.
Bedsores and Stiff Joints
Much like food and water deprivation, another form of nursing home neglect is leaving the person in the bed and not rotating/moving his or her body.
Missing Belongings or Funds
Abuse need not be all physical or psychological. In some cases, nursing home staff may be stealing possessions from residents or even taking money directly from residents’ bank accounts. It’s important to ask your loved one about any missing items or missing funds.
Other Unexplained Conditions
You know your loved one well and will be able to tell when something about them is different. Be sure to keep an eye out for odd behavior or anything amiss about your loved one. Once the incident has been reported, be sure to speak with a nursing home abuse attorney to ensure that the abuser (and possibly the care provider company) is punished for this unforgiveable infraction.
For complex legal matters, it is important to speak with a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer, medical malpractice attorney, and Colorado personal injury attorney to ensure that you receive just compensation for injury and damages.