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How to spot nursing home abuse

You put a great deal of trust in the nursing home. After all, healthcare providers at the facility must provide for all your aging loved one’s needs. Unfortunately, though, not all professionals provide the same standard of care. Even worse, some engage in heartbreaking elder abuse. 

Because of communication difficulties and embarrassment, uncovering nursing home abuse can be challenging. Simply put, you may need to do some amateur detective work to determine if your loved one is receiving adequate and compassionate care. Here are four common signs of elder abuse in nursing homes: 

1. Physical injuries 

The physical signs of nursing home abuse are often the easiest to spot. While there may be another reason for a broken hip, bruised arm or laceration, you must try to rule out nursing home abuse if your loved one sustains any type of injury. 

2. Emotional distress 

Emotional injuries can almost hurt worse than physical ones. Nevertheless, it can be tough to determine whether emotional distress comes from normal aging or nursing home abuse. Therefore, you may need to ask probing questions to uncover wrongdoing. Fortunately, certain behavioral signs are often strong indicators of abuse. 

3. Neglect 

Aging individuals often need ongoing care. Still, overworked healthcare providers may neglect your loved one’s basic needs. If you notice dirty bed linens, bedsores, missed medication or other signs of neglect, you may need to intervene. 

4. Financial anomalies 

Not all nursing home abuse takes a physical or emotional toll on your loved one. On the contrary, financial mistreatment is a form of elder abuse. As such, you must keep a close eye on your loved one’s finances at the nursing home. If he or she has an expenditure account, ask the facility for a regular accounting. 

You trust the nursing home to take excellent care of your aging loved one. While most healthcare professionals do a good job, some fall short. If you think your loved one has experienced elder abuse in a long-term care facility, you must act both quickly and diligently to stop the abuse and improve care.

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