Aggressive. Committed. Experienced.

3 kinds of health issues that warn of nursing home abuse

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2023 | Injuries |

Moving a loved one into a nursing home is both expensive and stressful. Even if an older adult recognizes that they need medical support, they may be very combative about the change or might slump into a depression in response to their new living environment. Family members who feel guilty may space out their visits to their loved ones, which might potentially mean that they overlook warning signs of significant abuse.

The unfortunate truth about nursing home care is that it isn’t equally beneficial for the people at every facility. People at different facilities and with different relationships with their care providers have vastly different experiences in nursing homes. Some will experience significant neglect and outright abuse. These are just some of the warning signs of abuse and neglect that family members must watch for when a loved one moves into a nursing home.

1. Frequent, concerning injuries

If someone has a single injury that results from a fall, that isn’t necessarily reason for concern. However, when an older adult seems to get injured repeatedly, especially when their injuries might be indicative of physical abuse, such as fractured arms and bruising from physical contact, those frequent injuries may require careful documentation so that the family can prove a pattern of abuse.

2. Preventable medical issues

Many people simply assume that bedsores or pressure ulcers are part of nursing home life, but these painful wounds are often preventable if the people at a nursing home provide the appropriate standard of care for residents. Preventable infections and injuries as well as severe infestations could be a warning sign that staff members are not taking proper care of a particular individual or possibly everyone at the facility.

3. Psychological injuries

Although it can be hard to detect the psychological injuries caused by abuse, family members may notice changes in someone’s personality and demeanor while living in a nursing home. Especially if they become depressive, accusatory, combative or extremely withdrawn, those changes could be indicative that they are experiencing not only neglect but outright mistreatment at the hands of the people paid to provide their medical support.

When family members recognize the warning signs of nursing home abuse, they should start keeping records, arrange for their loved one to move to a new facility and/or pursue a civil lawsuit. Making frequent visits and keeping personal records can help those who want to protect their aging loved ones from nursing home abuse and seeking legal guidance can be helpful when abuse has already occurred.