How to Identify Whether You Have a Nursing Home Abuse Case
As people age and need more care, they become more susceptible to abuse by those in charge of their care. Reports of abuse at a nursing home or assisted living facilities are, unfortunately, all too common. As individuals become weak as they age, they lose the ability to defend themselves from bullying behaviors and can be taken advantage of. If an older person speaks up to their family about the issue, they might not be taken seriously.
Frequently, when an elderly individual tells their family of emotional or physical abuse, their cries for help are considered to be nothing more than minor complaints. Loved ones of those in nursing homes might also think their elderly family member is succumbing to mental deterioration.
If your loved one is in a nursing facility and tells you they’re being abused, you must listen and know the proper signs to look for that indicate abuse. Once you’ve identified that your loved one is being abused or taken advantage of, there are steps you can take to prevent it from ever happening again. The following explains these signs and actions that you can take.
What are the Signs of Elder Physical Abuse?
A good indicator that your elderly loved one is physically abused is how they react around their caregiver. If there’s tension between the two, or if your elderly loved one won’t look their caregiver in the face, that sign shouldn’t be ignored. The following are further signs to looks for that indicate signs of physical abuse:
- Unexplained broken bones, sprains, or dislocations
- Bruises, scars, or wounds visible on the body
- Marks that indicate restraint – like a rope around their wrists
- Damaged or broken eyeglasses
- Unprecedented failure to take medication
Another telling sign of physical or psychological abuse is the caregiver refusing to leave the older person alone with their family. If it seems nearly impossible to have a moment of privacy with your loved one, that’s a good indicator that something isn’t quite right, and further investigating should be done.
What are the Signs of Elderly Caregiver Neglect?
Perhaps more common than abuse is to neglect the elderly. It takes a particularly disturbed individual to hurt an elderly person purposely. With neglect, however, the caregiver must only ignore the needs of the person they’re caring for, rather than hurt them spitefully. Common signs of nursing home caregiver neglect include:
- Abandoning the elderly person at a public location
- Being inappropriately dressed for weather conditions
- Being dehydrated or losing weight unexpectedly
- Failing to bathe and clean the elderly person
- Poor living conditions like rooms without heat, a/c, or running water
f you’ve noticed sores on your elderly loved one, that might also be an indication that their undergarments, clothes, or sheets aren’t being adequately washed and changed. Bedsores can also appear if they’re not turned correctly in their bed every couple of hours to keep the blood flowing. If a bedbound individual doesn’t change positions in the foundation that they’re spending most of their time in, sores can develop quickly and become infected. That’s always something to be aware of when checking on your elderly loved one.
Signs of Financial Exploitation of the Elderly
Outside of abuse and neglect, an elderly person can be taken advantage of financially by their caregiver. Many online, phone and phishing scams target the elderly and pull at their heartstrings with false stories. Signs that your elderly loved one is financially exploited include:
- Changes in the financial situation of the elderly
- Unexplained, high withdrawal amounts from their bank account
- Missing valuables or cash from the elderly individual’s room or possession
- Changes in life insurance policies, will, or power of attorney
Some elderly individuals require more care than others. If the caregiver feels like they’re working for an unjust wage, they might tell themselves that they’re owed the extra and dishonest funding that they steal from the person they care for. Be sure you know the person caring for your elderly loved one well.
An excellent way to do this is to confirm that background checks are pre-screenings are successfully passed. Pay attention to the rapport between your loved one and their care provider. Simply by paying attention and making yourself present, you can protect your elderly loved one from abuse.
Call on Umansky and His Team to Protect Your Elderly Loved Ones
Your elderly loved ones are counting on you to speak up for them when they can’t speak for themselves. If you suspect that an elderly loved one in your life is being abused or taken advantage of, call The Umansky Law Firm to help. With more than 100 years of combined experience in criminal law, they’re committed to protecting Florida’s elderly.
To schedule a free consultation, call our office or fill out an online contact form today.