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Nursing Home Abuse: 10 Red Flags to Watch Out for

by Tim

Nursing home abuse is one of the most tragic happenings that occur in America every single day. To help protect nursing home patients, their family members (and the general public) need to know what warning signs to look out for. Here are ten red flags that you should always be wary of:

1. Unexplained Injuries

When a patient enters a nursing home, they are paying that facility to take care of them around the clock. For this reason, there should never be an injury that a patient and the staff should be unable to explain. In fact, when an injury is a mystery, it could be a sign that it stemmed from abuse and that the patient is being pressured to keep it under wraps. If you suspect this type of dubious activity, using resources at Nursing Home Law Center can help you seek justice for your elderly loved one.

2. Unexplained Financial Woes

Many patients in nursing homes have limited savings and spending money. A large chunk of their money is going to the nursing home to ensure they are receiving proper, accessible care, after all. If a patient is having sudden issues with money or is missing money that they cannot account for, the nursing home staff may be taking advantage of their elderly state, and filtering money out of their accounts.

3. Broken or Missing Property

Nursing homes tend to be relaxed, laid-back environments. However, when abuse is happening behind the scenes, chaotic behavior can happen at a moment’s notice. This type of abuse can lead to patients having their property broken, stolen, or confiscated. If your elderly loved one is having trouble explaining this type of property damage, you’ll want to keep an extra close eye on their future in that nursing home.

4. Sudden Antisocial Behavior

Emotional and psychological abuse is tragic for elderly patients in nursing homes. When they experience this type of abuse, they can experience intense emotional and personality shifts. If your normally bright and social elderly loved one becomes anti-social without explanation, abuse behind the scenes could be to blame. The more your loved one trusts you, the easier it will be to help them navigate this tragic situation.

5. A Noticeable Fear of Staff Members

Another side effect of emotional and psychological abuse is a fear of your abuser, and what they might do to you if you speak out. If you notice your elderly loved one being fearful of, or distant around, staff members at their home, this is a major red flag. A healthy nursing home patient should have a positive, loving relationship with their caregivers, after all. Once again, cultivating trust between yourself and the nursing home patient you’re assisting can help you prevent this type of abuse from occurring.

6. Unexplained STDs

While many people don’t realize it, nursing home patients tend to lead active sex lives. However, if a patient suddenly gets an unexplainable STD, and is wary to talk about it (especially around staff members), this is cause for concern. If several patients are mysteriously afflicted with STDs, the alarm bells should be raised immediately. In this type of scenario, you should confront the nursing home’s director immediately.

7. Bedsores and Intense Infections

Unfortunately, many nursing home patients are bedridden. Bedridden patients have many unique medical care needs, including the need for someone to move them once and a while. Doing so prevents bedsores, and infections, from occurring. If your elderly loved one is suffering from preventable bedsores and infections, a lack of care is likely happening behind the scenes. It’s important to remember that neglect is a form of abuse that a nursing home can be held legally accountable for.

8. Dirty, Cluttered Living Spaces

There are many risks associated with cluttered, dirty, and generally uncared-for living spaces within nursing homes. From slip-and-fall accidents to infections that occur due to mold, this lack of care can lead to harmful neglect and injuries. A nursing home should always see cleanliness and accident prevention as a top priority, so if they’re failing to take this task seriously, it should be seen as a major red flag.

9. Duplicate Bills

There is absolutely no reason a nursing home should be sending duplicate bills to your loved one, or you (if you’re paying for the home). When this happens, it should be corrected immediately. If this is happening frequently, it could be a sign that the nursing home is trying to get away with double billing less aware or cared-for patients. Always sound the alarm when this happens, as it will protect every member of that nursing home.

10. A Lack of Visitation Access

To keep nursing home patients happy and healthy, reasonable access to visitation services is needed. If a home is making it nearly impossible to visit a patient, or is noticeably obstructing your ability to access your elderly loved one, this is a red flag that should be taken deadly seriously. After all, they could be doing so to prevent you from finding out about behind-the-scenes abuse.

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