If you suspect that your loved one may be suffering mistreatment while living at a nursing home or a long-term care facility, you are – statistically speaking – probably right. According to a 2017 review conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), a staggering two out of every three staff members working at long-term care facilities admitted to committing abuse or neglect within the year before they made that admission.
Given that so many staff members admit to engaging in abusive or neglectful ways, it is little wonder that an estimated one in six adults over the age of 60 has experienced abuse in a community setting within the last year. If your loved one is showing signs of mistreatment, it is time to research your options.
Signs of abuse and neglect in nursing home residents
Not every suspicious development is evidence of mistreatment. However, it’s important to treat potential warning signs seriously. Even adults who are ordinarily capable of self-advocacy may hesitate to report mistreatment out of fear of retaliation, having nowhere else to go or just not wanting to “bother” anyone. If your loved one is showing any of the following signs and your gut tells you that something is wrong, it’s important to investigate the truth:
- Dropping weight
- Emotional and/or social withdrawal
- Acting erratically
- Frequent genital infections
- Suspicious activity on their financial or social media accounts
- Fall-related injuries
- Fear of their caregivers
Second-guessing whether a potential sign of abuse or neglect is evidence of actual mistreatment is both normal and reasonable. Yet, it’s important to carefully consider your legal rights and options if you suspect that your loved one may be suffering due to another’s conduct. Your advocacy may be the only thing standing between them and the risk of additional harm.