Spotting The Signs Of Elder Abuse In Nursing Homes

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Elder abuse doesn’t just happen out in the world — it can happen right under your nose, even in nursing homes. Although some people think that abuse only takes place in isolated cases, it actually happens much more often than you might think. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that isn’t given the attention it deserves; many patients are afraid to speak up about what’s happening to them, and there aren’t enough people who check on them and make sure they’re safe, which is why you might need a nursing home abuse lawyer. Our friends at Disparti Law Group have put together some signs to help you recognize elder abuse.

Changes in Activity Level

Pay attention to changes in your loved one’s usual activity level. If you notice a sudden drop-off or a sharp decline, it could be a sign that something is going on. If you notice any increased apathy or physical lethargy, there may be an underlying medical reason or it could be that they are feeling depressed due to elder abuse. Either way, take note. If this continues for a few days, make sure to call their doctor. A change in appetite is also cause for concern and can indicate illness or depression as well as abuse. Watch out for rapid mood swings from calm and happy to crying spells and outbursts quickly followed by periods of serenity

Appearing Nervous

A nervous appearance is one of the signs that your loved one may be at risk for abuse. In nursing homes, your loved one’s condition may make them appear jittery or nervous, especially if they’re entering a new living situation. According to an investigation, residents are often medicated with anti-anxiety drugs to make them easier to manage. If your loved one seems overly nervous, it could be their medication playing tricks on them. It’s also important to know that dementia can sometimes cause unusual behavior. These symptoms aren’t necessarily abuse related; however, it’s still worth raising awareness among staff members if you see such changes in behavior.

Unexplained Injuries

Any unexplained injuries require immediate attention and possible legal action. The most common signs of abuse are unexplained bruises, bed sores, unexplained broken bones, or untreated injuries. If you see any of these injuries on your loved one during a visit to a nursing home, ask questions about them and look for answers that make sense. Any concerning information should be brought to your attorney’s attention as soon as possible so that they can begin investigating whether abuse is taking place at that facility.

Missing Clothing or Valuables

Are any clothing or valuables missing from your loved one’s room? This could be a sign that they’re losing their sense of autonomy. If you notice several items missing, there may be an issue with a staff member. You should report any suspicious behavior to your loved one’s doctor and his or her administrator.  If you believe this is happening because your loved one can’t afford to buy new clothes on their own, discuss this concern with the social worker on staff. They might offer help.

In the meantime, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer today for help with your elderly loved one that may be showing signs of abuse.