Making the decision to place a loved one into a long-term care facility is never easy. For many families, months of research occurs to find the best possible nursing home setting. Once a family member is settled in and adjusting well to their new environment, many loved ones breathe a sigh of relief.
Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are staffed with caring, compassionate, and capable employees. Some families will eventually find that their relative has been subjected to elder care abuse. Knowing the signs of elder care abuse can help you detect areas of concern as soon as possible. If an incident occurs, it is also helpful to know where to turn for top quality defense for your loved one.
What are the different types of elder abuse?
Not all elder abuse follows the same pattern. While many people only think about physical abuse, there are other ways your family member could be harmed while in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Often the most obvious to spot, physical abuse includes actions like hitting, pushing, kicking, or restraining an individual. This type of might only occur once, or could be an ongoing ordeal for a loved one.
Residents of nursing homes and other elder care facilities can expect a baseline of care and services, When those basic needs are not properly met, neglect might be taking place. Examples of neglect include withholding food or medications, or failing to schedule medical care when needed.
Emotional abuse can be difficult to spot because there are no visible signs of abuse. When caregivers treat residents with anger or indifference, an emotionally abusive situation can develop. Yelling at residents or threatening them can also fall under the umbrella of elder abuse.
Although less common than the other types of elder abuse, financial abuse can still occur in an assisted living or nursing home setting. When a caregiver takes steps to gain access to a resident’s assets, savings, or Social Security income, financial abuse is present.
How do I know what to look for in terms of elder abuse?
Understanding the signs of elder abuse can make it easier to know when to seek help with various circumstances. It’s also easier to spot the signs of elder abuse when you have frequent contact with a loved one, even over the phone or through video chatting.
Some of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse include:
- Unexplained bruises, scratches, or scrapes
- Sudden changes in hygiene
- Withdrawal from family, friends, and other social connections
- Bedsores or pressure sores
- Symptoms of anxiety or depression
- Increased confusion or cognitive issues
- Unexplained changes in financial arrangements
- Weight loss or signs of malnourishment
In some cases, a loved one who is being subjected to elder abuse will seem fearful of certain people on staff. They might also be very concerned about “breaking the rules” or doing anything that might provoke anger from staff members.
Should I speak to the facility management about my concerns?
In most cases it makes sense to talk to a manager if you see areas of concern regarding a loved one’s physical or mental condition. Many issues can be addressed through communication, and it may be that symptoms of elder abuse are actually brought on by something else that can be easily rectified.
However, if you have significant evidence that your loved one is being significantly harmed while in residential care, reaching out to the authorities might be the best course of action. Leaving an elderly loved one in a risky or potentially harmful position can lead to devastating outcomes.
What should I do if it appears a loved one has been harmed in a long-term care setting?
If it turns out that your family member has been exposed to elder care abuse, navigating the matter can be challenging. Working with a skilled attorney with experience in elder law can make the process far easier to manage.
If you’re searching for outstanding defense for your loved one, choose a legal representative who specializes in this area of law. Nothing is more precious than taking care of aging loved ones, and nothing should stand in the way of giving family members the highest possible care as they move into the later stages of life.
Your attorney will sit down with you and review all of your concerns. If evidence needs to be gathered, your legal representative can help ensure you get the proof you need. If the matter eventually goes to court, you can rest assured you’ll get the very best in terms of care and attention.