If you have a loved one who is residing in a nursing home, you may have started noticing a difference in their behavior or appearance that leads you to suspect that they are being either abused or neglected by their caretakers. If your loved one is either unable to speak for themselves or is suffering from moderate to severe dementia, look for the following signs that this may be the case.
1. Sudden Decrease in Weight
As part of their disease process, it is possible that your loved one may start to gradually lose weight. However, if you notice a sudden decrease in weight that seems to have no medical explanation, there is a chance that this is a sign of abuse or neglect.
One way sudden weight loss could be a sign of abuse is that someone is withholding food as punishment. If your loved one does not behave the way the caretaker feels they should, they may be refusing to feed your family member to get the desired behavior.
Or, if your loved one is unable to feed themselves, food may be brought into the room and set in front of them. However, without any assistance, they are unable to eat and get the nutrients they need. This scenario would be considered neglect.
2. Unexplainable Appearance of Bruises or Bed Sores
Another sign that your loved one is not being treated right at the nursing home is the unexplainable appearance of bruises or bed sores on their body. Again, depending on what is causing these to appear, this could be a sign of abuse or neglect.
Even if someone is not outright striking your loved one, the person responsible for moving them or bathing them may be using quick, aggressive movements to get the job done as quickly a possible. In this case, bruises and skin tears could be a sign of abuse.
In the case of neglect, your loved one may be trying to get up and falls without anyone checking on them. Or, if bed sores are appearing and your loved one cannot turn themselves, the caretakers are not doing their jobs to prevent these sores by sticking to a regular turning schedule.
If you suspect that your loved one is not being taken care of or is being outright abused, you may wonder what you can do to protect them. If so, schedule a consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney, like those at Garrison Law Firm, to discuss your legal options.