There are times when we need the help of a nursing home facility to care for our elderly loved ones. Because of the potential for abuse and neglect, having to rely on strangers for their care can be nerve-wracking. Still, there are ways you can protect loved ones from harm.
Do your homework
Take time to research and consult reliable sources to choose a quality nursing home. Visiting nursing homes in person is an excellent way to ensure your loved one will be comfortable. Consider whether the ambiance or the quality of the care meets your requirements, and if there are any meaningful activities for the residents. You may also want to observe the staff’s interactions with the residents to determine if they will be capable of caring for your loved one.
Stay in touch
It is best to check up on your loved one as often as possible during the first few weeks of their move. This way, you can monitor if they are comfortable and receiving adequate care. If you have the time, visiting during mealtime can also show you the condition of other residents in the home.
Common signs of nursing home abuse
Even if you take every precaution to vet the nursing home, certain signs of abuse or neglect may not be obvious. Apart from physical abuse, victims may also suffer emotional, psychological, or financial harm. Those with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia are more likely to experience mistreatment.
Be on the lookout for any of the following in your loved ones:
- Unexplained bruising or wounds
- Poor grooming habits
- Withdrawal from social interaction
- Sudden behavioral changes
If you suspect nursing home abuse, it is critical to document any evidence you find. Take pictures or videos of your loved one, their rooms, and the facility. You may also want to talk to the staff and ask about their procedures. If the staff or nursing home refuses to cooperate or conceals relevant information, you may want to reach out to an attorney immediately.