Nursing home abuse is becoming more and more widespread in American nursing homes. For this reason, those who have loved ones in America’s nursing homes need to be hyper-aware of signs of potential abuse. To help you on this journey, here are ten warning signs that you should be on the lookout for:
1. A Lack of Transparency
When a nursing home lacks transparency in how they handle patient care, or when it comes to reporting accidents, it’s much more likely that abuse is happening behind the scenes. To ensure patients feel safe and secure, every nursing home in America must be fully transparent and honest. If your elderly loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer can help you seek out the justice and restitution they deserve for their suffering.
2. Sudden Bedsores
Bedsores have no place in a well-run nursing home. If a patient is bedridden, there are protocols that (should) be in place to ensure they are being rotated often enough to prevent bed sores from forming. For this reason, bedsores that suddenly appear, or that chronically appear, could point to a lack of proper care happening. Remember, negligence is also a form of nursing home abuse and affects thousands of nursing home patients across America every single year.
3. Unexplained STDs – Nursing Home Abuse
Sexual abuse is one of the many forms that nursing home abuse can take. When a patient suddenly develops an STD, and can not explain why, this is a major red flag that points to behind-the-scenes abuse. STDs themselves are not irregular in nursing homes (as elderly patients often remain sexually active), but unexplained STD diagnoses could point to sinister origins (so any instance of unexplained STDs happening in a nursing home’s walls should be investigated immediately).
4. Sudden Financial Ruin
Financial abuse is one of the most common forms of nursing home abuse. After all, many elderly patients suffer from dementia or other diseases that affect their memory and/or judgment. For this reason, they become prime targets for ill-intentioned staff members that want to siphon money off of unexpecting victims. If your elderly loved one is having unexplained bank account troubles, you should get an investigation into the manner started ASAP.
5. Unexplained Injuries
As we mentioned earlier, transparency is key when it comes to any injury or accident that happens within a nursing home’s walls. If your loved one has an unexplained injury, this should be cause for major concern. You need to inquire about the injury, and if the staff is unable (or unwilling) to explain its origins, then you need to contact the home’s director immediately. If they are of no help, you will need a lawyer and legal authorities to assist you with investigating the nursing home.
6. Exuberant Gift Giving – Nursing Home Abuse
To avoid accusations of stealing money from patients, some staff members may coerce patients to give them gifts that are worth tons of money. This is one of the more insidious forms of financial abuse that can happen in nursing homes and is much more common than we’d like to believe. If you suspect that your loved one is being coerced into giving gifts to staff members, you need to sound the alarm bells and get to the bottom of what’s really happening.
7. Sudden Antisocial Behavior
If an elderly patient is suddenly anti-social, especially if they are normally personable and happy, then they may be experiencing emotional/psychological abuse behind the scenes. By fostering a trusting relationship with your elderly loved one, you can watch for signs of emotional abuse more effectively.
8. Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents can be deadly, especially for elderly people who have brittle bones. Due to this, nursing homes have to remain vigilant about protecting their residents from any slip-and-fall hazards. For this reason, if a preventable accident occurs on a nursing home’s watch, it could be a sign of abuse happening behind the scenes.
9. Unsanitary Living Conditions – Nursing Home Abuse
To prevent allergies, diseases, and infections, nursing homes have to be extremely sterile. If you discover that your elderly loved one’s nursing home is unsanitary, you should alert the proper authorities immediately. Doing so may save both your loved one’s life and the lives of other patients who are put at risk by unsanitary facility upkeep practices.
10. Malnutrition and Dehydration
There is absolutely no reason that any nursing home patient should suffer from either malnutrition or dehydration. Since they are meant to be receiving round-the-clock care, it’s typically a sign of neglect and/or abuse if patients suddenly begin suffering from either of these conditions. Understaffing issues in nursing homes will sometimes cause irresponsibly run homes to cut corners and lead to these types of disastrous, life-threatening conditions for their patients.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. It is always advised to take the help of a medical professional if you have any health concerns. This is just for informational purposes only.