After many months of planning and research, you’ve finally found a nursing home that seems to match the needs of your elderly relative. On first impression, and even after several visits, there were no red flags that anything was amiss.
You now have peace of mind that your loved one will be cared for each day, and this is a peace of mind that you are entitled to. Unfortunately, the warning signs of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes are not always immediately present.
Nursing home abuse is far too common in the States, with around 1 in 6 people aged 60 and over claiming to have suffered some form of abuse in community settings. How do you know if your elderly relative is being abused in a nursing home? What are some common signs to look out for?
Signs of physical abuse
Sometimes, abuse manifests itself in a physical form. Elderly people are frailer, they can bruise easily and their bones are prone to fractures after trauma. Does your older family member have bruises on their arms, face or other parts of the body? Perhaps they are especially nervous around one member of staff in particular? Any signs of physical harm to your loved one should be raised with the relevant authorities as soon as possible.
Signs of neglect
Abuse can come down to what has not been done as well as what has. Nursing homes owe a duty of care to all residents, which means they are entitled to be looked after to high standards. Has the personal hygiene of your relative slipped since moving in? Are they wearing dirty clothes every time you visit? Perhaps you have noticed that they look physically drained or thinner than last time you came by? These are all signs that your elderly relative is not being looked after to the legal standards they are entitled to.
Elderly people have a right to enjoy the latter stages of their life. They should also be treated with dignity at all times. If you feel that the care of your loved one has been severely lacking, it may benefit you to look further into their legal options.