Signs of abuse in nursing homes: Protect your loved ones by knowing what to look for
The state of Florida currently has over 73,000 elderly people living in nursing homes. Many of these nursing homes are badly understaffed for the amount of residents they have. This lack of staff can often lead to poor health care.
It is completely normal and should be expected for someone to go through a transition period, but sometimes there might be something more to it. Recognizing the following signs can help identify possible neglect or abuse and protect your loved one.
When attempting to identify signs of abuse in a nursing home, you can begin by asking yourself the following questions:
- Is your loved one complaining frequently and insistently?
- Is your loved one complaining about a particular care provider or nursing home staff member?
- Does your loved one show physical signs of neglect and/or have injuries?
- Has your loved one shown unusual behavior changes?
The General Signs: (You can look for these to identify possible nursing home abuse or neglect)
- If the nursing home staff does not allow visitors to see the loved one.
- If there seems to be a delay by nursing home staff for you to see your loved one when you visit.
- If the nursing home staff does not allow you or other visitors to be alone with the loved one.
- If there seems to be tension or frequent arguments between the caregiver and your loved one.
Signs of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes:
- Broken bones will obviously raise questions, but also pay attention to unexplained injuries like bruises, burns and/or cuts.
- Check for signs on their clothing. Is it torn, pulled, bloody or stained?
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect:
- Are there bedsores?
- Does your loved one have poor hygiene?
- Does your loved one seem weaker and/or have strange weight loss?
- Are there signs of dehydration when you visit, i.e., constant thirst or signs of very dry skin?
- Does your love one seem incoherent or over-medicated?
- Is your loved one complaining about painful blisters or abrasions?
- Is there soiled bedding?
- Do the living conditions in the nursing home seem hazardous or unsafe? This also includes the temperature in the facility – do they have sufficient AC or Heat?
Warning Signs in Behavioral Changes:
- Is your loved one showing anxiety, a lack of interest or an uncharacteristic anger?
- Are there sudden personality changes?
- Is there a change in alertness?
- Is the staff rude?
- Is your loved one frequently crying or overwhelmingly sad?
- Is your loved one afraid of being alone?
With so many understaffed nursing homes in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and the rest of Florida; it is no surprise that there are so many of these types of cases. It would be ideal for you to witness an incident or act of negligence, but the unfortunate reality is that you will not be there most of the time. Nursing homes will most likely be on their best behavior when you do visit.
By knowing the signs to look for and being able to identify them, you will be able to not just protect your loved one, but also other elderly people that may also be suffering.
If you suspect a nursing home of abuse or neglect, then please contact the attorneys at Madalon Law for a free consultation. If we feel you may have a case, we will take on all the fees for litigation and you will not be billed unless we win. Contact us today.