Warning signs of physical abuse or neglect in a nursing home

Warning signs of physical abuse or neglect in a nursing home

You may trust the staff at the nursing home to take good care of your elderly loved one, but that doesn’t mean they always do their jobs. If your loved one is being abused or neglected, you want to know about it and take action. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot the warning signs of elder abuse as soon as possible. 

An estimated one in six adults older than age 59 are thought to be abused in some way each year at nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. Elder abuse can take various forms, including neglect, domestic violence, physical harm, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial abuse. It’s any kind of maltreatment resulting in damage or loss to an elderly individual.

Abuse that results in bodily harm oftentimes can be easier to visually spot than emotional or psychological abuse, but all forms of abuse are wrong and should be stopped. Some of the warning signs of neglect or abuse in a nursing home may include the following:

  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Unsanitary housing
  • Wearing unwashed clothing
  • Bedsores
  • Untreated injuries
  • Mismanaged medications
  • Seemingly absent staff
  • A history of repeated or unexplained injuries
  • Wounds ranging in severity from bruises and scrapes to fractured bones and brain injuries
  • Evidence of domestic violence or sexual abuse

If your elderly family member is cognitively impaired, he or she might not even realize the neglect or abuse is happening or might be physically unable to report the abuse. Your family member might also be hesitant to report being abused because he or she doesn’t wish the abuser to get in trouble or because there’s worry about retaliation.

If your loved one could be the victim of elder abuse at a nursing home, it’s important you protect them and document evidence of the abuse in order to help prove your case. You also need to understand your legal options. It’s a good idea to get help from a Kentucky attorney with experience in elder law and fighting nursing home abuse.

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