Placing your aging loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make. You wish you could keep the person you love at home, but you can’t provide the necessary level of care and supervision. Your only other alternative is to find accommodations where your loved one will be cared for with compassion and high standards. Unfortunately, facilities do not always live up to their reputation. Be aware of these four signs of elder abuse and know what you should do about it.
You’ve Noticed Considerable Weight Loss
While it may be normal to expect some weight loss when a loved one first enters a nursing home or assisted living setting, extreme weight loss is a concern. Your loved one could be the victim of neglect. Staff may not be delivering meals regularly or providing assistance when it is time to eat. Failure to address specific dietary concerns could also be a factor in significant weight loss.
Your Loved One Has Had Numerous Injuries
Falls are a common problem for the elderly. They’re also a leading cause of serious injuries, such as a broken hip or knee. Part of the reason you went in the direction of a nursing home or assisted living facility was to keep your loved one safe. If a fall has occurred due to lack of supervision, this is a type of abuse. Cuts, bruises, head injuries, and burns are other signs that your loved one is not being monitored closely or getting adequate support. If you notice your loved one has bedsores, you are seeing a sure sign of abuse. A nursing home neglect lawyer can help you to take legal action against the facility or staff.
Your Loved One Has Become Extremely Withdrawn
If your loved one has had extreme personality changes, it could be due to emotional abuse. Common signs are an unwillingness to confide in you, withdrawing from others, showing signs of anxiety, and no longer showing interest in former pastimes. If you feel like your aging loved one is shutting down, the staff could be to blame.
You Suspect Sexual Abuse Has Taken Place
Sexual abuse in nursing homes or assisted living facilities is one of the most difficult types of abuse to pinpoint. Red flags should go up if a doctor’s visit reveals bleeding from the genitals, bruising in this sensitive area, or a positive diagnosis for sexually transmitted diseases.
Elder abuse can take place in any setting, from facilities to homes when health aides provide private care. Check-in with your aging loved one often. Look for signs that they are not getting the proper care. You will need to be an advocate, getting the assistance of a legal professional when you can’t resolve a matter on your own.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.