When an elder in a nursing home or assisting living facility is facing
some sort of abuse, they often keep it entirely to themselves. Sometimes
they are afraid of retaliation if they say something. Sometimes they think
no one will take them seriously, or that they are exaggerating their own
problems. In other situations, they might not have the mental capacity
to remember the abuse or ever know that it took place.
For these reasons and more, it is crucial that family members and friends
pay close attention to their elderly loved ones in nursing homes, or if
they live with an in-home caregiver. Oftentimes, it is entirely up to
family to spot the telltale signs of
elder abuse and take action on their own.
Five of the most common signs of nursing home abuse, in no particular order, are:
Mood swings: Living in a nursing home may be a new situation for an elder but it is
usually not such a dramatic change that it affects who they are. Uncharacteristic
mood swings in your elder could indicate emotional abuse being carried
out by orderlies or a particular resident. Pay attention if your elder
seems reclusive or fearful when a certain person is in the area.
Unexplained injuries: If an elder suffers an injury at a nursing home, someone should know about
it. Being told that no one knows how it happened shows that either someone
has intentionally harmed an elder, or that staff are negligent and not
watching elders in potentially dangerous situations.
Bedsores: Any assisted living facility that tells you bedsores are unavoidable might
need to improve its standards and practices. Regular changes of bedding
or encouraging elder activity throughout the day are two easy ways to
stop bedsores from forming.
Dirty facility: Are the walls, corners, and floors of your elder’s nursing home covered
in dust or dirt? If so, it is indicative of a facility staff that is either
negligent in its duties or sorely overworked. If they cannot maintain
the basic groundwork of hygiene, they cannot be expected to adequately
care for your elder.
Altered wills or finances: Theft is a serious problem in dishonest nursing home facilities. Orderlies
may take steps to hide their actions and cleverly steal from elders, such
as tricking them into writing a check for them. Private caretakers may
intentionally manipulate an elder over time to add their name to their
will. You should have regular access to your elder’s financial institutions
to watch for dramatic inconsistencies.
If You Spot Elder Abuse
Do you think you have valid concerns for believing your elderly loved one
is being abused. Call the authorities if you believe they are in immediate
danger of physical harm. After they have been safely removed from the
facility, or if immediate danger is not present, call
Albuquerque personal injury attorney Michael J. Doyle. For more than a decade, our law firm has been helping
people in difficult situations, such as high-stakes nursing home abuse
cases. Get a
free case evaluation today to begin.