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How to recognize signs of nursing home neglect and abuse

Having to put a loved one in a nursing home isn't an easy decision, but it is sometimes necessary for that person's health and safety. The last thing that you expect when you have to do this is to find out that your loved one is being mistreated in the nursing home.

Any mistreatment of senior citizens in nursing homes should be addressed right away. Leaving these situations unchecked can lead to the resident suffering harm due to neglect and abuse.

Physical signs

Often, there are easily noticeable signs of elder abuse, such as bruising or cuts. If you notice any marks on your loved ones, you need to get to the bottom of what happened. He or she might have fallen or had an accident, but it is possible that there was something more sinister that led to the marks.

Even if the senior citizen says that an accident was to blame, you might need to look deeper into the situation. If there was a fall, figure out why it happened. Was your loved one a fall risk and wasn't being properly monitored? Was there a cord or something on the floor that caused the fall? Did a fall really cause the injury?

As sad as it is, some elderly individuals will try to cover up what is going on. This is because they don't want to get anyone into trouble, they feel bad about what happened or they think that they are to blame for the issues.

Other physical signs, such as a limp, weight loss or dehydration can also occur. These are particularly troublesome because they can all lead to very serious medical issues or death.

Emotional signs

A nursing home resident who is being abused or neglected might seem withdrawn. This is sometimes attributed to the effects of aging, such as dementia. But looking at the situation from a different perspective might help you to determine if there is something amiss.

You might notice that your loved one doesn't want to speak much when you visit. This may occur only when there are staff members around, which is a big clue that things aren't right.

Depression, isolation and anxiety might also occur. Essentially, if you notice that he or she isn't acting normally, you need to take a step back to find out the reason for the changes.

If you do find out that there is neglect or abuse going on, you need to take steps to put an end to this. Your may end up wanting to seek compensation for the damages caused by the circumstances and incidents.

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