If you only had the choice, you would have your elderly loved ones live in your home. But since you’re also working five days a week and have your own family to take care, you know that you can no longer look after them. You don’t want to compromise their health and safety, and that’s why you decided to send them to a nursing home. But weeks after sending them there, you notice that your loved one has been acting differently. You begin to suspect that caregivers are mistreating him or her. To help you come up with an accurate conclusion, consider the signs of elder abuse and neglect:
- Physical abuse: This is the most common type of elder abuse. Physical abuse is any action which causes injury or bodily harm to the elder. He or she might have been hurt by hitting, kicking, shoving or being tied to his or her wheelchair. And in worse cases, physical abuse can involve elders being locked in their rooms and even being forced to take drugs, ones which aren’t prescribed by their doctors. Common signs of physical abuse are:
- Broken or sprained bones
- Recurring injuries
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, and burns.
- Sexual abuse: Although not as common as physical abuse, sexual abuse can still happen inside a nursing home. Sexual abuse is when an elder is forced to have sexual contact with another person. This can involve forcing elders to watch pornography or take off their clothes or inappropriate touching and rape. What’s tricky about sexual abuse is that its signs aren’t usually seen physically. These can include:
- Bleeding in the genital area
- Torn or bloody clothes.
- Psychological abuse: This is an action which hurts an elder emotionally. This can happen when someone threatens elders, yells at them and even call them names. Aside from that, psychological abuse involves someone ignoring an elder over and over again, controlling what they should and shouldn’t do, and even determining who they can see. When an elder is a victim of psychological abuse, they might:
- Change their sleeping and eating behaviours
- Feel confused, depressed and lose interest in things they used to enjoy
- Feel withdrawn or frightened from society or the people around them
- Have changes in their behaviour that you can’t explain
- Mumble to themselves.
- Financial abuse: Financial abuse happens when an elder’s property or money are threatened. Someone in the nursing home might use their bank accounts or credit card without their consent, force them to sign documents or even forge signatures. If you believe your loved one is a victim of financial abuse, pay attention to these signs:
- There’s a new person who is taking financial advantage of them
- Legal documents pertaining to money or properties which disappeared
- Missing financial statements or money from the elder’s pocket
- Withdrawals from the elder’s bank account without him knowing about it.
One of the reasons you sent your loved ones into a nursing home is because you want professionals to take care of them, and not hurt them in any way. When this happens, you should immediately work with an elder abuse and neglect lawyer like this one here. There are legal professionals who know what would be the best things to do in your situation. When you work with them, you can also have time to look after your loved ones and help them towards their recovery.
Your loved ones were there to take care of you when you were young. Their love and support contributed a lot to who you are right now – and this is the reason why you want to return the favor to them. You want to take care of them by sending them to a good nursing home where professionals are ensuring that they eat healthily, take their medicines on time, and still do physical activities. But when abuse and neglect happen there, it’s time to take legal action. You should never allow other people to abuse your elderly loved ones in any way.