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7 Signs of Nursing Home Abuse to Watch Out For

When we entrust a nursing home to care for our elderly loved one, the last thing we expect is for the staff to mistreat them. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is an all too common occurrence. When it does, it is important for you and your family to pay close attention to any signs that may signify the occurrence of abuse or neglect. Your loved one may feel too intimidated or nervous to tell you about neglect in fear they may get in more trouble. This is why you must pay attention to the various signs.

1. Malnutrition

Malnutrition is one of the most common signs of neglect because several nursing homes are understaffed or untrained in feeding elderly individuals with no cognitive abilities. Your loved one may experience rapid weight loss or loss of energy.

2. Bed Sores / Pressure Ulcers

When patients are immobile, they must be moved and rotated regularly to keep the blood flowing and prevent too much pressure on specific areas. When a patient is not rotated, it can cause blood flow restrictions, killing the skin over the boney areas. Look for redness on the tailbone, heels, elbows, and other areas with little muscle.

3. Emotional Changes

If your loved one is normally upbeat and happy, but has shown a more upset or agitated state, this can be a sign that something is happening while you’re not there. Perhaps your loved one is no longer communicating. These may be signs of abuse or neglect.

4. Unchanged Dressings

Patients who have open wounds or other medical issues should have bandages changed regularly. The bedding should also be regularly switched. This is important to make sure the patient and his or her area is clean and free of bacteria.

5. Fear of Being Touched

If you go to embrace your loved one and he or she is hesitant or shows fear at the motion, this may show signs of physical abuse. When a patient is physically abused by a staff member, they may develop bruises. Be wary of any bruises if you notice your loved one is showing fear at physical contact.

6. Discrepancies in Financial Accounts

Not all abuse or neglect comes in physical forms. Financial elder abuse is something that is also common in which a staff member influences your elderly loved one to grant permission to financial accounts. This is abuse and should be stopped. Make sure you have access to the financial accounts in order to see any strange discrepancies.

7. Fractures or Broken Bones

This is the most obvious sign that a patient has been abused or neglected. With neglect, the patient may have been left alone long enough for him or her to fall from their bed or wheelchair. Any injury should be thoroughly evaluated to determine the cause.

If you notice your elderly loved one has been abused or is facing neglect in a nursing home, take legal action. Our Tampa elderly abuse attorneys at Robert Sparks Attorneys can help you seek justice on behalf of your loved one. Contact us today.