There often comes a point in time where seniors can no longer care for themselves or be cared for at home. When this happens, nursing homes are a popular choice for those with aging loved ones. Most of these facilities offer safe living communities with around-the-clock care and medical staff.
Unfortunately, nursing home residents are easy targets for abuse or neglect. It’s important to know some of the warning signs of nursing home abuse so that you can better look after your senior loved one. Our firm of Atlanta elder care abuse attorneys has compiled a list of 5 common signs of abuse that should never be ignored.
Your loved ones will sometimes experience personality changes that are not caused by abuse. For example, nursing home residents with certain medical conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s can experience mood changes and a decreased desire to socialize.
Nevertheless, sudden and uncharacteristic behavioral changes may indicate abuse. Elderly residents that are the victims of poor care or physical/mental abuse will often exhibit exaggerated behaviors like fearfulness or aggressiveness. These changes can also include disruptions of eating or sleeping schedules.
While it’s true that senior citizens are more likely to fall, such falls should be extremely rare in a nursing home with safe conditions and attentive caretakers. If a resident has a fall that is the result of neglect or inattention, that is a form of abuse.
Injuries like bruises, cuts, or bone fractures can also be the result of physical abuse. This can be committed by nursing staff or even other residents.
Another sign that an elderly resident is receiving poor care or suffering abusive neglect is poor hygiene. Some of the signs of poor hygiene include:
- Soiled bedsheets or linens
- Dirty clothes
- Unchanged diapers
- Unbrushed teeth
In addition, bedsores are a strong indicator of neglectful care. Bedsores are caused by poor nutrition and occur when a bedridden resident stays in one position for too long. These sores are very painful and can result in serious infections if not treated quickly.
Weight Loss and Dehydration
Old age and certain medications can contribute to weight loss. However, if a senior is malnourished or is not hydrated, weight loss will inevitably occur. Malnourishment and dehydration can lead to serious medical issues and increased susceptibility to other illnesses.
Suspicious Financial Decisions
Nursing home abuse can also involve staff members accessing your loved one’s private financial information. A caretaker may try to commit financial abuse through either direct theft or coercing a resident to divulge their sensitive information themselves. This can result in unexpected changes to their estates, new credit cards being open, or ATM withdrawals.
Speak with an Elder Care Abuse Lawyer in Atlanta Today
While most nursing homes provide safe and attentive care, nursing home abuse is always a possibility. If you suspect your elderly loved one has been the victim of abuse, contact us today at 888-474-9616 or use our online contact form.