Putting your family member or loved one in a nursing home is a tough decision, but there may come a time when they need 24-hour care and there are no other alternatives available.
However, it is natural to have concerns that they get the care they need and are treated properly, especially when you hear stories about nursing home abuse and neglect.
Many times, Virginia nursing home residents are afraid to speak up about abuse or neglect because they fear even worse retaliation from their abusers. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some common signs of nursing home abuse.
Physical and emotional signs
Injuries such as bruises, scratches, dislocated body parts or even broken bones with no reasonable explanation for what caused them is a main sign of physical abuse. Physical symptoms or medical issues caused by not taking medications could also be a sign that they are not receiving proper treatment.
Pay attention to the behavior of both your loved one and their caregiver. Notice how your loved one acts when the caregiver is around. Do they become anxious or timid? These might be signs of abuse.
Some nursing home residents display more overt signs of abuse, such as repetitive behaviors like rocking back and forth. Do not automatically associate forgetfulness or confusion with dementia. These could be caused by stress from the abusive situation.
Additionally, does the caregiver act nervous when you are around? Do they seem hesitant to leave you alone with your loved one? This could mean they are nervous that you will find out what has been going on.
Signs of neglect
Examine your loved ones physical environment and living conditions. Everything should be clean and electricity, water and heat should be functioning. Other common signs of neglect include lack of hygiene, bed sores and weight loss.
Learning that someone you love is experiencing abuse or neglect and helpless to do anything about it can be agonizing and you might not know what to do. Talking with a personal injury attorney about the situation is a good first step.