Detecting the signs of elder abuse within a nursing home or assisted living facility can be very difficult. Unfortunately not all of us are able to see our loved ones on a weekly basis. When you do visit, be sure to ask how your loved one is feeling, and how they are being treated within the facility. Pay attention to changes in mood of your loved one, and always look for physical signs of abuse (bruises, scarring, chapped lips, dehydration etc).
Many nursing home abuse warning signs go unnoticed. One of the most common forms of abuse or neglect is bedsores, also known as pressure sores. Bedsores are one of the most common forms of injuries within a nursing home. They also lead to the most complications if they are left untreated. The three major categories of abuse are as follows: Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse and Financial Abuse.
Other common forms of neglect are medication errors, falls and fractures, and improper wound care. Facilities are responsible for reasonable care of elders. Unfortunately under-staffing, under funding, and supervision by unqualified workers most often is the cause of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, it is important for you to contact the proper local hotline (Use the Elder Care Locator to find assistance in your area online, or call their hotline at 1-800-677-1116. The hotline number is available Monday – Friday, from 9AM to 8PM EST).
Always remember that reporting nursing home abuse is the proper decision. Facilities are responsible for the care of your loved one. So as a reminder, be engaged with the seniors you visit, and always be sure to ask how the care they are receiving is. Ask them how the nurses are treating them, and if they are getting proper meals and hydration.
Only 1/10 cases of nursing home abuse or neglect actually go on to be reported. Let’s help spread awareness and get seniors the proper care they deserve.
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