What are some signs that nursing home abuse and neglect could be occurring?
• Bed Sores
• Changes in personality or mood
• Unexplained bruises, broken bones, scabs, infections
• Genital Discomfort, bleeding in the vaginal area
• Inadequate staff
• Mysterious changes in a will
• Losing weight, undernourished
• Bad personal hygiene, dirty and unkempt
• Disoriented or confused
• Agitation or distressed
• Torn clothing or broken glasses, bloody clothes
• Rocking back and forth, sucking their thumb
• Employees not granting visitors
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Physical abuse often leaves the most obvious signs on its victims. However, shoves, slaps and sexual assaults may not result in noticeable marks. Many people try to cover up the evidence of their abuse due to fear or shame. Whenever you visit your elderly loved one, pay close attention for bruises, scrapes and other signs of injury. If you notice any of those signs, ask them about it. A quick, open response probably means that abuse is not afoot; attempting to avoid the question or an inability to explain the injury could be a sign of trouble.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect is a very insidious problem at many nursing homes. Since staff members are often underpaid, overworked and most of the time poorly trained. We have seen many accidents that were just based on pure carelessness and caretakers that may not have your loved one's best interests at heart. Sometimes, neglect is done in a deliberate way; other times, it happens because the facility simply doesn't have the means to take care of its patients. In either case, it is inexcusable. Types of nursing home neglect include ignoring a person for days on end, not ensuring that his or her personal hygiene is in order and not being conscientious about his or her medications.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Unlike abuse, neglect is almost always tricky to detect. Most people realize that their loved one is being neglected because their personality suddenly changes drastically. A once vivacious and talkative person, for instance, may suddenly seem quiet and withdrawn. Weight loss, excessive fatigue and a lack of personal hygiene are additional signs of nursing home neglect. Regular communication with an elderly person is usually the only way to discover neglect in a nursing home or assisted living setting.
Knowing Your Rights
Depending on the type of facility - whether it's skilled nursing facility, a residential care facility or another type of place - there should always be written information available about its abuse and neglect policy. When moving an elderly relative into a nursing home or other facility, always ask for printed information about how they deal with issues of neglect and abuse. Make sure that the elderly person reads it over too, if possible. Having that information at hand will lessen the risk of abuse happening undetected and will increase the odds that the elderly person will raise an alarm if does occur.