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At Nursing Homes Watch for Telltale Signs of Abuse or Neglect of a Loved One

Nov 1, 2013

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While most of us would prefer to care for our elderly family members in the safety of the family home, sometimes this is simply not feasible, especially when one is suffering from a medical condition. The types of residences available range from assisted-living facilities to full-care nursing homes; however, the level of safety and care your loved one receives at these places should never be a variable. But, sadly, that is not the case.

Nursing home negligence is an ongoing, serious problem. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that one nursing home patient out of 20 has been the victim of negligence and/or injury, and the actual number may be considerably higher. Additionally, the National Center reported that 57% of nurse’s aides working in long-term care facilities have admitted to witnessing – and some, even participating in – acts of negligence and abuse against elderly residents.

For this reason, when a nursing home or other form of assisted living is the chosen solution, it is vital that family members be ever-vigilant concerning their loved one’s treatment. A key way to do this is during visits; relatives and friends should keep a sharp eye for telltale signs of possible abuse and/or neglect. If there is even the suspicion that a love one has been mistreated or abused by nursing home staff members, action must be swiftly taken.

Unfortunately, instances of abuse are not always reported due to fear of retaliation or because the resident themselves are unable to communicate or recall the abuse.

Some common signs of potential abuse and/or neglect include:

  • Bedsores
  • Unexplained Injuries or Bruising
  • Weight loss
  • Unkempt appearance
  • Dirty fingernails, other signs of a lack of hygiene
  • Emotional distress out of order with their typical condition

Speak up if you have suspicions. Remain vigilant. If you believe your complaints are falling on deaf ears, then it may be time to consider legal intervention so you are informed of you options.

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