• Oct
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Early Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

    Nursing homes perform an invaluable service, but that doesn’t make the decision to place a loved one into their care any easier. In addition to feeling guilty for not being able to provide for their needs yourself, there’s also the worry that they could end up a victim of nursing home abuse. No matter how carefully you evaluate a facility, it is impossible to predict when a caregiver or staff member will reveal a dark, abusive side. The best thing you can do to protect your loved one is to educate yourself about the early signs of nursing home abuse and then remain vigilant in watching out for them.

    The first thing to know is that when an individual is being victimized, they are likely to start acting differently. This may be either a reflection of the dynamic between the victim and the abuser or an outcome of the abuse itself. If you notice that your loved one is acting fearful, reticent about speaking, withdrawn or demonstrating some other change in their personality, that should serve as your first sign that something is wrong and that you need to start asking questions and look for further indications of trouble.  Those other signs could include:

    • Unexplained fractures, dislocations, sprains or broken bones
    • Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns or abrasions
    • Marks on the wrists (an indication of restraint)
    • Broken eyeglasses
    • Caregiver refusing to leave you alone with your loved one
    • Mumbling
    • Rocking
    • Thumbsucking
    • Cowering or looking away when a caregiver is in the vicinity
    • Bruising or bleeding near the genitals or breasts
    • Underwear that is bloody or torn
    • STDs or genital infections

    Negligence is another important issue for those with loved ones in a nursing home. Signs of negligence include:

    • Medication not being dispensed
    • Dehydration
    • Malnutrition
    • Finding the resident left alone in a public location such as a hallway
    • Resident in soiled or unsuitable clothing
    • Unhygienic care including teeth not being brushed, lack of bathing, soiled diaper
    • Soiled bedding

    Nursing home abuse can also involve financial exploitation, so family members and friends should keep alert for unexplained withdrawals from the individual’s bank accounts, changes in wills, power of attorney or life insurance policies, and items such as jewelry or cash missing from their room.

    If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, it is essential that you act quickly. Contact us today to learn the remedies available to you.

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