The day comes that your father or mother can no longer take care of themselves. You have the choice to hire in-home care, have them move in with you or send them to live in a nursing home. If you chose the latter, you want to make sure your loved one’s care is top of mind for the caregiver — and treated as if you were caring for them yourself. The worst thing to imagine, is abuse.
Whether the abuse comes in the form of physical, emotional, sexual, caregiver neglect, financial exploitation or health care fraud, it does happen. Therefore, doing your research and vetting the potential nursing home is very important.
Abuse can be hard to spot as many victims try to suppress their emotions and hide the physical signs. When visiting you loved one, keep an eye out for the resulting signs that will manifest with the following abuse styles.
- Unfamiliar broken bones or sprains
- Burns, scars, bruises, or welts
- Not wanting to take prescribed medication properly
- Rope or restraint burns on hands of wrists
- Broken personal items
- The caregiver disallowing you to be alone with your loved one
- Unusual or very anxious behavior such as dementia symptoms
- The witness of a very loud, controlling or threatening nursing home caregiver
- Genital infections, sores, bruises or unexplained STD’s
- Strained or bloody underwear
- Bleeding in genital areas that are unconnected to a medical condition
- Leaving the elderly at an undisclosed location
- Providing poor living conditions
- Leaving your loved one dirty and unbathed
- Allowing the elderly to live with soiled and dirty clothing and bedding
- Patient bedsores due to inconsistently rotating the patient
- Your loved one being unusually dehydrated or experiencing extreme weight loss
- The patient having drained bank accounts
- Drastic changes in the patient’s financial situation
- Changes in the patient’s power of attorney, life insurance, property titles or wills
- Missing cash
- Cash withdrawals when patient is bedridden
- The caregiver providing poor medical care when the financials are available
- Strange goods, services or subscriptions that the patient could not have signed up for or bought on their own
- The elderly person is given to much or too little medication
- Duplicate bills of any kind
- Poorly trained staff
- Poor care of patient when services are paid in full
It is vital to be aware of these warning signs linked to nursing home abuse to decipher if legal action against the caregiver or nursing facility is a route to consider.