Placing a loved one in a nursing home is often one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. You are trusting strangers to take care of them and make sure their needs are met.
This can be difficult to do when you hear stories of nursing home abuse, and sometimes your elderly loved one might not be able to properly communicate with you if they are being abuse. They could also be afraid to speak up, out of fear of retaliation.
Therefore, it is vital that you stay on guard and watch for common signs of nursing home abuse.
When you visit your loved one, look for signs of physical abuse. Many physical injuries are not immediately obvious, since they are on hidden areas of the body.
If you do see signs of abuse, such as bruises, cuts or scrapes, nursing home staff could try to explain it away as an accident.
However, medical professionals can often tell the difference between accidental and intentional personal injuries, so if you are still suspicious, have your loved one checked out.
Broken or damaged property that is typically worn on the body can also be signs of abuse, particularly if your loved one cannot give you a reasonable explanation for how the item was damages.
Look for changes in your loved one’s personality. Do not assume that depression, withdrawal or anxiety are simply caused by the change of environment.
Watch how your loved one behaves around each staff member. A change in behavior around a certain staff member might be an indication that something is wrong.
We never want to imagine that someone could hurt an elderly, helpless individual, much less one who we love dearly. But it is important to stay vigilant and watch for signs of nursing home abuse, as it continues to be a prevalent problem in Virginia and elsewhere.
If you find evidence of nursing home abuse, you could pursue legal action.