Recognizing signs of nursing home abuse

As someone who has a parent or other elder loved one living in a Missouri nursing home or similar type of continuing care facility, you probably want to believe that your family member is receiving the highest quality of care and attention while there. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case at many American nursing homes, with many facility residents nationwide experiencing emotional, physical or financial abuse at the hands of those entrusted to care for them. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we know all too well just how common abuse and neglect are at today’s nursing homes, and we have helped many people who feared their loved ones were suffering seek answers.

According to the National Council on Aging, hundreds of thousands of Americans over the age of 60 suffer abuse every year, much of which occurs in nursing home environments. While you cannot watch your loved one all day, every day, there are certain red flags you can look for during your visits that may indicate a serious problem at a facility.

For example, when visiting with your loved one, you may spot obvious signs of abuse, such as unusual bruising, scars or burns. However, many signs of potential nursing home abuse are less obvious, so sometimes, it helps to look for behavioral clues. Your mother, father or other loved one may, for example, seem more agitated or confused than is typical, or he or she may seem depressed, withdrawn or traumatized.

If you notice that your loved one is becoming increasingly hesitant to participate in activities he or she typically enjoys, know that this, too, could be an indication of abuse. You can also look for hygiene-related clues that may indicate potential abuse. For example, your loved one may be subject to it if he or she is not undergoing regular bathing, hair-brushing and so on. The presence of bedsores, too, may indicate elder abuse or neglect. You can read more about this topic on our webpage.

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