As time passes, people change. Things they used to be invested in might grow pointless over time. Habits that required a lot of their energy yet never exhausted them might be replaced by something calmer. Change comes when growing older; many of these changes require special care that only professionals can give.
Various living options are available for the elderly. Each one is catered according to their preferences. However, it all boils down to their needs. These facilities are revered for the quality of care they can provide. Regardless, one must always be vigilant, especially for their aging loved ones. That said, here are some signs of nursing home abuse and neglect that you must pay attention to:
- Unusual Behavior
Older adults typically change physically and psychologically. After all, age often deteriorates some bodily functions. But despite how normal these changes are, there might be signs that indicate something more sinister.
Hearing the elderly complain might be normal in certain situations. Since some of them experience chronic pain or have a foul temperament, those familiar with their complaints often brush them off. Regardless, they’re worth looking into, especially if their grievances started in their nursing home.
Given how many people have lost a loved one because of another’s negligence and abuse, the elderly’s verbal accounts must be considered. After all, they have first-hand experience with how the facility treats them. If you still have doubts, continue asking them about what staying at the nursing home is like. Process their answers carefully to determine whether or not they’re connected to come up with the full image.
Another thing to look out for is physical cues. After all, actions often speak louder than words ever will. And if they struggle to relay what they want verbally, the elderly may be unable to hide their true feelings.
Pay attention to how they behave around specific nursing home staff members or fellow residents. See if they’re agitated around them, withdraw into themselves, or if they’re reluctant to be alone with any of these people. Note all these things to use as evidence for making a case.
Although your elderly loved one is more important, don’t forget to analyze the staff and other residents and give them the benefit of the doubt. But be vigilant when they refuse to leave the elderly’s side, especially if they’re part of the staff, and see how they behave around your loved one.
- Poor Hygiene
Not all older adults are immobile; some can still perform basic practices independently. Regardless, bathing and ensuring their living conditions stay good as new falls into the staffing’s responsibility. Even how their elderly patients dress is included in the nursing home’s tasks.
Check the elderly’s body to see if the nursing home missed taking good care of anything, even their fingernails. See if they have a closet with tattered, ill-fitting outfits instead of quality clothes. Have a close eye on what they’re already wearing and see if there are any tears or holes.
Aside from your elderly loved one, determine if their living conditions are still safe. Inspect the entire room they’re staying in. Pests and mold are some of the worst things you’d find in any building, and having them surround the elderly constantly without the right protective gear is a surefire way of getting them sick.
- Lack Of Mobility
Although many elderly struggle to move, it doesn’t mean that all of them are completely immobile. Moreover, enriching the elderly’s lives through physical activities is necessary, as these encourage their muscles to retain strength and improve their endurance. Neglecting your elderly loved one and leaving them to sit in their beds or wheelchairs for long periods is often the reason behind their incapacitation.
- Random Injuries
Keeping the elderly safe is the main responsibility of nursing home workers. That’s why collecting injuries and scars is the last thing you’d expect.
Granted, some might be self-inflicted since the elderly are prone to mental health disorders, such as depression. Nonetheless, the nursing home staff is meant to stand guard over their charges. Thus, their patients getting injured must be avoided in the first place, especially if they’re known to inflict harm on themselves repeatedly. Specific measures are supposed to be in place to prevent such things from happening. The presence of injuries could mean that what the staff has been doing is lacking, and things only get worse once their injuries aren’t treated, or an external factor’s the one behind them.
- Poor Diet
Whether it’s because there’s a lack of food or the elderly can’t properly absorb what they’ve eaten, malnutrition is a serious sign of neglect. After all, this condition degrades the patient’s physical and psychological well-being the longer they don’t receive the right nutrients. Everyone working at a nursing home must be well-informed about what specific diet is suitable for a particular elderly patient. Consequently, failure to provide this indicates carelessness and sheer disregard for the elderly.
Nursing homes are facilities that cater to the elderly’s needs. After all, they demand extra care and attention, given their old age. But because of that reason, the elderly are susceptible to being taken advantage of, especially at the same facilities that are supposed to help them. Learn to identify the right signs to look for if you feel something is off. That way, you can help your elderly loved one as soon as possible.