Many people place their loved ones in nursing homes to ensure they receive the best care possible; however, in some cases, instead of receiving care and affection, elderly residents suffer abuse and neglect. Being able to recognize common signs of elder abuse and neglect is key in ensuring your aging loved ones and other seniors receive the care they deserve.
The top signs of elder abuse and neglect include:
1. Unexplained injuries: Bruises, lacerations, broken bones, pressure marks, and burns without an obvious cause are one of the most easily spotted indications of mistreatment or physical abuse.
2. Changes in mental or emotional state: Seniors who sustain emotional abuse often become withdrawn or depressed, or have an unexplained change in alertness and activity level.
3. Physical signs of sexual abuse: Seniors who sustain sexual abuse by a caregiver or other nursing home resident often have bruises on their breasts or around their genitals.
4. Unexplained financial changes: Financial abusers often encourage seniors to make them an authorized signer on bank accounts, alter a will to include them, or use their ATM card for unapproved purchases.
5. Unattended personal needs: Poor hygiene, unaddressed medical needs, soiled clothing, severe bedsores, and unusual weight loss are all common signs of possible neglect.
6. Verbal abuse: If you hear a caregiver threaten or belittle your loved one, emotional abuse is taking place.
7. Dislike of a certain caregiver: If your loved one shows an intense dislike of a certain caregiver, this may indicate abuse. In addition, if your loved one seems overly nervous around certain caregivers, those caregivers may be abusing your loved one.
8. Limiting your time alone: Abusers will often go out of their way to prevent any opportunity for the senior to talk to a trusted loved one about the abuse. Abusers often do this by refusing to allow family members to visit with the resident alone.
9. Unmet medical or healthcare needs: Elders not receiving the proper level of care may have missed medication doses, be dressed in inappropriate or inadequate clothing for the current weather, and be missing necessary medical aids such as eyeglasses, dentures, and hearing aids.
10. The elder reports mistreatment or neglect: Any time your loved one reports abuse or neglect, be sure to investigate the possibility and report any evidence to the proper authorities.
What should I do if I see signs of elder abuse?
If you suspect elder abuse, you should:
- Report it to the caregiver’s employer and the proper authorities immediately
- Call the police if the senior is in immediate danger
- Move your loved one to another facility if you fear for their safety or emotional health
What are our legal options if my loved one has suffered abuse or neglect?
The elder abuse attorneys at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co. LPA help victims of all types of nursing home abuse get the compensation they deserve. If your loved one was the victim of elder abuse or neglect in Ohio, we can help you explore your options based on the specifics of your case. Contact us today at 419-843-6663 to schedule a free initial consultation.