The decision to entrust a loved one to the care of a nursing home is already
difficult enough without the added worry that they may not receive the
level of care that you are expecting. Unfortunately,
nursing home abuse is a huge problem in the United States, with many facilities struggling
with a lack of qualified staffing. In fact, the Senate Special Committee
on Aging states that elder abuse affects as many as five million people
While some signs of abuse are obvious, nursing home abuse isn’t always
easy to spot.
Here’s what you should look for:
Signs of neglect. Unusual weight loss, bedsores, soiled diapers, or dirty clothes are signs
that your loved one is not getting the attention they need to maintain
their health. A lack of needed medical aids, like glasses, walkers, and
hearing aids, may also signal neglect.
Signs of physical abuse. Pressure marks, bruises, abrasions, burns, and broken bones are some
of the signs that physical abuse may be occurring. You should also be
wary of odd or inconsistent explanations for injuries, or excuses for
why you cannot visit with your loved one alone. Another red flag may include
taking the patient to multiple facilities for treatment.
Signs of emotional abuse. If your loved one begins displaying nervous or fearful behavior, seems
withdrawn or apathetic, or is displaying other unusual behaviors, this
may be a sign that they are being emotionally abused. If you have observed
or have been told by your loved one that a caregiver has been snapping
or yelling at them, or if you have noticed that they seem tense or strained
in a caregiver’s presence, you should immediately address the matter
with the head of the nursing home.
Signs of financial abuse. Evidence of financial exploitation can include increased use of credit
cards, more frequent cash withdrawals, unusual purchases, and money disappearing
without being accounted for. Since senior citizens – especially
those with cognitive impairments – can be vulnerable targets, this
type of abuse is unfortunately not uncommon.
Signs of sexual abuse. It may seem unthinkable, but it does happen. Watch for difficulty standing
or walking, depressed or withdrawn behavior, bruises or bleeding in private
areas, evidence of venereal disease, or touchiness or flirtation by a
Elderly people may have difficulty communicating that they are being abused
due to dementia, illness, or a fear of being neglected. Even without these
difficulties, they may be less likely to report that they are being abused
due to their dependence on others for care. This is why it is crucial
that you stay in touch with your loved one by speaking with them or visiting
whenever possible. You know your loved one better than anyone and are
his or her most effective advocate!
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused at a nursing home, do
not delay in addressing your concerns. As soon as you contact Todd Miner
Law, our Orlando nursing home abuse attorney can launch an investigation
into the extent of the abuse and take legal action. We will work hard
to hold negligent nursing homes and staff members responsible for their
misconduct. You rights and the rights of your loved one are our top priority.
Take the first step toward justice by filling out a
free case evaluation form, or by calling (407) 269-5877.