Signs of abuse can be as difficult to pick up on in elders as they are in children. Many residents of skilled nursing facilities are experiencing some form of incapacity. It may be difficult or impossible for them to outright tell you that they are being abused. In neglect cases, some nursing home residents hesitate to speak up out of misguided politeness. Residents themselves may not be aware that they are being neglected. If one of your loved ones lives in a nursing home, it is important that you check on them regularly and keep your eye out for subtle signs of abuse. If you think something is wrong, an attorney may be able to help you investigate further.
What Clues Should I Look Out for That My Loved One is Being Abused?
When you visit your elderly family members or friends in a nursing home - whether you do so virtually, in person, or over the phone - there are a few signs you should not ignore. That said, you know your loved ones and what is or is not normal for them. Be mindful of:
Call lights - If your relative uses their call light during your visit, pay attention to how long it takes for the call to be answered. Long enough that you have had to leave the room in search of a staff member more than once? The nursing home could be dangerously understaffed, leading to neglect.
Fearfulness - Does your loved one seem frightened of the staff, or any particular staff member? Do they become unusually timid when staff is present? Do they jump or gasp when someone enters their room? If this is the case, and fearfulness is not their baseline, they could be facing elder abuse.
Strange injuries - If your loved one dropped a coffee mug on her foot or something like that, either they or the nursing home staff would readily explain how the broken toe happened. However, if accidents caused by neglect or worse, outright physical abuse, are occurring, you might start noticing unexplained bruises or injuries. If you cannot get a good answer about how an injury happened, something may be amiss.
Hygiene - Caregivers on staff are responsible for maintaining their residents’ personal hygiene. This can be a challenge, no doubt - residents with dementia may actively resist bathing. However, if your loved one seems like they have not been bathed or had their clothing changed for some time, they could be getting neglected.
If you notice any of these signs, it may be a good idea to look further into it. If you suspect that any neglect or abuse has taken place, take action.
Call a Kane County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. is committed to helping victims of nursing home abuse. Our Aurora nursing home abuse attorneys are skilled at recovering compensation that helps these victims heal. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation.