When you have a loved one in a nursing home, it's natural to worry about the care they are receiving and to want to ensure that they are supported, cared for, and treated with dignity. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. That's why it's important that you learn to recognize the more subtle signs of nursing home abuse. After all, nursing home abuse isn't always physical, so there may not be bruises or physical marks. Here are some other things to be attentive to.
Weight Loss or Malnourishment
If you notice that your loved one seems to be losing weight inexplicably or appears to be malnourished, that's a key indicator of nursing home abuse. Withholding food is a form of punishment and control that's employed in nursing homes as a way to establish or reinforce authority. Keep an eye on your loved one's weight and overall health to determine if there is cause for concern.
If your previously social loved one is suddenly withdrawn, quiet, and not actively participating in social gatherings, events, and other interactions, that's another indication that something isn't right. In a nursing home setting, this is often dismissed as early changes due to dementia, but sometimes it's the result of fear and emotional abuse happening in the nursing home. Make an effort to draw your loved one out of their shell, speak to them privately and encourage them to open up to you if something is bothering them.
If you find yourself suddenly told that your loved one can't see anyone, whether due to a facility issue or a policy, it's important that you ask questions. Make sure you understand what's happening and find out exactly when you can see your loved one again. Follow up with phone calls to your family member as well. Sometimes, isolation is used as a manipulation tactic with nursing home residents, so staff members keep family away. Be attentive to anything that may seem like isolation efforts and reach out to local law enforcement if necessary.
You are your elderly loved one's best advocate when it comes to any kind of potential abuse or neglect in a nursing home. Reach out to a local nursing home abuse attorney today for more guidance and support. They can evaluate the situation and help you determine if there's a case to pursue. It's important that you get professional help if you suspect abuse because it's essential to protect your loved one.
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