When an aging parent needs to live in a nursing home, you may put forth every effort to look for the best one. You did extensive research, conducted interviews and read reviews from others of the facility.
Over time and visits, you may start to notice that your parent isn’t doing well. Perhaps they have stopped being so chatty when you visit. Are they holding a grudge, or could it be something else? Take note of the following signs that your loved one is enduring neglect or abuse at the hands of those charged to care for them.
Changes in Behavior
One of the most obvious signs of abuse or neglect is a sudden change in behavior. In the example above, a normally social person may become withdrawn and sullen. When a person endures abuse, they may be scared to talk about it. Therefore, the stress it causes comes across in different ways. Social engagement is usually the first sign. Mood swings may occur more frequently with cycling between happiness, anger and sadness. A usually docile person may become physically violent and act out against visitors or other residents.
Skin Lesions and Sores
Neglect in nursing homes may occur on a case-by-case basis or a larger scale. Some residents may be targeted, and in other instances, a majority of the inhabitants not cared for in a manner they deserve. An older person’s skin becomes very thin and fragile. It is susceptible to breaking, and cuts may occur rather easily. However, if you notice a recurrence of sores or wounds on the skin, you may want to speak to someone in authority. Another problem for elderly patients is bedsores. These lesions or welts develop when pressure is applied to one part of the body more than the others. These develop when someone lays in one position too long. Sores may start to develop on the hips, back and buttocks. Bedsores can become infected and cause internal injuries if they are not cared for promptly.
Sudden Fear of People
Upon visiting your parent, you notice how they withdraw when people come around. It is almost as if they are afraid to be touched. When you witness this type of action, you may be seeing the effects of physical or emotional abuse. Look for other signs such as unexplained bruises or inflamed areas.
The people charged with caring for the elderly should be caring for them, not taking advantage of the situation. When you believe that your loved one is suffering at the hands of someone else, you should consult with an elder care abuse lawyer for guidance on how to rectify the situation.