Abuse in many forms is a common occurrence in nursing homes. As a child or sibling concerned for the welfare of a loved one in a Georgia nursing home, you should be on the lookout for these signs that abuse may be occurring. Your loved one has multiple rights under Georgia law.
Poor Hygiene & Unsanitary Conditions
Poor hygiene in nursing homes can be both evidence of neglect and an effect of other abuse. Most commonly, poor hygiene results where a nursing home has too few staff handling too many residents. There is no time to assist individual residents in practicing hygiene. In these instances, the bathroom facilities are often equally neglected, making residents reluctant to use them. Sometimes, food prep and common areas are also poorly maintained. If you see conditions like this or if a previously carefully clean resident becomes unkempt and unclean, you should investigate with staff for possible causes.
One of the most common signs of nursing home abuse is unexplained bruising or injuries. If your loved one suddenly begins to experience a rash of unexplained scratches, bruises, broken bones, or dislocations, it’s time to take notice. Even though the elderly may be more delicate and susceptible to injury, they should not develop a large number of injuries with no apparent cause in a short period of time. If you see a pattern of increasing injury without apparent reason, consider further investigation.
Sudden Changes in Behavior
Victims of nursing home abuse will often develop sudden changes in their behavior. Previously happy and outgoing personalities may become withdrawn and sad, while so-called learned helplessness may indicate emotional abuse and a newly developed lack of self-esteem. People don’t usually change the personality of a lifetime without some impetus. Be sure to follow up on unexpected changes in behavior,
Dehydration or Malnutrition
Nursing home residents who are not receiving adequate care often exhibit signs of dehydration or malnutrition. Dehydration can lead to loss of mental acuity and delicate skin subject to easy injury. At the same time, malnutrition can show as sudden and extreme weight losses and confusion resulting from inadequate protein. Malnutrition can also weaken the immune system and slow healing. When signs of dehydration or malnutrition are detected, it is vital that you follow up as soon as possible before irreversible damage occurs.
Unwillingness to Speak in Front of Staff
Nursing home residents suffering from abuse are often hesitant to speak in front of the staff who are abusing them. Fear that disclosure of the abuse will result in more or worse abuse causes your loved one to avoid telling you what is happening in front of such staff. And, of course, abusive staff are more likely to be vigilant to prevent precisely such conversations. If you see signs of this behavior, consider steps to protect your loved one.
Contact A Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today\
Nursing home abuse is an entirely preventable personal injury. If your loved one appears to be suffering from some form of nursing home abuse, a personal injury lawyer with experience in nursing home cases can help you to improve the situation. Contact a Georgia nursing home abuse firm today to save your loved one from continuing abuse.