Seniors or older adults are at a high risk of being abused in a nursing home, with many cases going unreported. According to statistics, there are about 1 to 2 million Americans aged 65 years and above who have been exploited, injured, or mistreated by a caregiver. The frequency estimates of elderly abuse range from 2 to 10 percent. So, how do you know if your loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse?
Below are the signs you need to watch out for that would need the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer in Syracuse, New York:
Unusual Behavior or Sudden Behavioral Changes
In Syracuse, New York, the total metropolitan population based on the 2017 US Census is 732,000, of which 112,736 are adults, wherein 17,312 of whom belong to the elderly. While aging is normally accompanied by behavioral changes, like mood swings, watch out for unusual behaviors, like thumb-sucking, rocking, mumbling, or other signs and symptoms that resemble dementia as these are possible results of nursing home abuse.
Once you have a suspicion that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, you have to immediately consider seeking the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer. In that way, you’ll be guided on the next steps you have to take without violating or breaching your contract with the nursing care facility, so click here to talk to a lawyer now.
Your Loved One Expresses Hate or Dismay Towards a Caregiver
Some elderly people are able to express themselves and mention outright that they don’t want a certain nurse or caregiver to continue taking care of them. Although your parents or grandparents might be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or cognitive problems, always take such statements seriously because it’s a possible sign of neglect or maltreatment.
Also, seniors can now report cases of maltreatment using digital technology. It’s a good thing that innovations in healthcare technology are now available so you can monitor your loved ones even if you’re away, like installing CCTV cameras and downloading healthcare apps, most especially if you’ll leave your loved ones at home in the hands of an in-home caregiver or even in a nursing home.
Physical Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
There are physical signs that are possibly the result of nursing home abuse, such as the following:
- Unexplained sprains, broken bones, or dislocations
- Bruises, scars or welts noticed on the body
- Broken eyeglasses
- Signs of restraint, like rope marks on the wrist
If you have a strong feeling that your parent or grandparent is being abused in a nursing home, along with any of these physical signs, you have to consult a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
A competent nursing home abuse lawyer should initially try to reconcile the complaint between all parties involved. This can entail addressing a letter to the person who is responsible or in charge of the nursing home, outlining your concerns, and requesting for a reply from the management to implement a corrective measure.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse also occurs in nursing homes, and there are already many cases reported. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help families gather relevant pieces of evidence to prove the sexual abuse case, such as medical records, photographic evidence, witness statements, and other documentary evidence.
Here are the signs of sexual abuse:
- Unexplained genital infections or sexually transmitted disease or STDs
- Bruises around the breasts or near the genitals
- Bloody, stained or torn underwear
- Anal or vaginal bleeding unrelated to the existing medical condition
Signs of Neglect
Nursing home abuse includes signs of neglect, such as poor hygiene, bed sores, and soiled clothing and bed linens. Check the living conditions of your loved one to ensure that proper grooming and cleanliness are observed. It’s the responsibility of the caregiver to bathe your loved one, turn the bedridden patient side to side, and keep them properly hydrated.
Ask your loved one if they are eating on time. Check for signs of weight loss and dehydration as well, like an obvious change in weight, dry lips, dry skin, or increased thirst.
Caregiver Tends to Be Manipulative
If the caregiver refuses to let your loved one be alone with you, it could be a sign of abuse when you’re not around. Your elderly loved one may show restlessness, unusual behavior, or inappropriate behavior when the caregiver is around.
Also, a caregiver who is an abuser might also narrate unbelievable stories that your loved one is being accused of doing, like mistreating the caregiver or shouting or cursing at the caregiver to get your buy-in. Be wary of such manipulative behavior as this can indicate an abusive caregiver.
It’s so frustrating to find out that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse. You expect excellent care for your parents or grandparents, but the abuse still happens despite the fact that you’re paying fairly for nursing home services. This is why if you observe any signs of abuse, take them seriously, and hire a nursing home abuse lawyer to help you.