Nursing home abuse is an unfortunate reality. As in any profession, elder care nurses may perform their job poorly. However, poor performance means the endangerment of your loved one’s health and safety in this case.
Eldercare abuse does not have to be intentional to cause significant harm. It can just as likely be the cause of incompetence or understaffing. According to the National Council on Aging, as many as 5 million seniors are victims of abuse every year. Do not let the older adults in your life fall prey to mistreatment. See below for signs of nursing home abuse and how you can stop it.
Signs of physical abuse
Pay attention to your loved one’s physical state. Please do not take the word of their caretakers for granted. Spend some time and be wary of bedsores, cuts or lacerations, head injuries, sudden weight loss, poor personal hygiene and various physical ills that seem out of the ordinary for your senior’s condition. These physical signs should jump out at you and need an explanation from the caretaker. If their story does not add up, you need to consider reporting them to Adult Protective Services or a similar program.
Signs of emotional abuse
Not all abuse is physical, though. If you notice the senior’s emotional state in your life change, they may be victims of psychological mistreatment. Pay attention to any signs of anxiety, lowered self-esteem or impulsive aggressive behavior.
Eldercare requires a certain level of trust. Unfortunately, it is difficult sometimes to distinguish between signs of abuse and the realities of aging. If you suspect nursing home abuse, consult with a professional and consider your next steps carefully.