The Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse Explained

Husbands and wives and daughters and sons bring their elderly loved ones to a nursing home. They expect to leave them in safe, capable hands. Federal regulations also make it so residents have the right to be free from harm.  However, over 5,000,000 residents experience some form of abuse. 

Less than 20% of those cases are reported because the relative had no clue.

You can help your elderly loved ones even when they can’t by knowing signs of nursing home abuse. Take a look at these common types of nursing home abuse.

Signs of Verbal and Emotional Abuse 

Emotional abuse can be hard to notice because it is not something you can see or is obvious. It can also span for a chronic period. This can be emotionally, physically, and physiologically wear the elderly resident down. 

If an older adult is very depressed or puts themselves down when their personality was the opposite, the change is odd. Even sudden mood swings without merit should raise an eyebrow. Note normal character to see if anger, happiness, or sadness are displaced or they stop taking medication. 

Signs of Physical Abuse  

You can also learn more about nursing home abuse by seeking information and asking questions from professionals. Working with someone who is experienced can help you observe suspected signs when you are unsure. 

Common findings of physical abuse, including rape, are broken or fractured bones destroyed possessions, and bruises or scrapes. These injuries may be direct violence on an elderly or indirect (being restrained or medicated). Other, less noticeable signs to watch is social withdrawal. They may also get scared or startled easier than before. 

Signs of Financial Abuse 

Nursing homes may attempt to swindle an elderly patient. There have been many cases where they exploit residents through financial means. They may take cash and checks or use their personal subscriptions and purchases for their benefit. 

Depending on the circumstance, accepting gifts (especially large) can be considered financial abuse. If the money doesn’t add up or there is strange activity on a personal account, you should suspect this. 

Signs of Negligent Abuse 

Unexplained weight loss and malnutrition may occur that compromise the health of your loved ones. It’s clear they aren’t eating enough. Other than the neglect of food, the same goes for little fluid (dehydration). They may have a dry mouth, swollen tongue, cracked lips, and reduced urination. Little food and water can leave an elderly person weak. 

Nursing homes may be neglectful in providing basic health care too. If a resident falls, develops an infection, or acquires a new injury, it is neglect. Even if it’s not on purpose, the fault is on the provider and facility. 

Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Many signs of nursing home abuse are complex and can intertwine with one another. One sign (depression, assault) can show in one or all 4 types of abuse.

The most important thing to remember is to talk to your loved one and monitor them so you can unveil abuse if they are experiencing it. When you do that, you can get help and provide them the appropriate justice. 

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