Every year, more than 1 million people receive assistance from nursing homes. And according to Nursing Home Abuse Guide, half of the nursing home attendants interviewed in 2010 admitted to having abused or neglected an elderly patient. This said, you need to be wary when entrusting your parents to a retirement facility.
There are signs that will tell you whether or not your parents have been subject to abuse or neglect. When you notice these signs, it’s best that you seek legal advice from a professional like MG Law.
One: Unexplained injuries
The elderly have fragile bodies. It is easy for them to get bruises, injuries, and broken bones. In fact, in a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has been found that 27,000 elderlies die due to fall-related afflictions. When you put your parents in a nursery home, you expect that falling accidents never or rarely happen.
Elderlies who do not receive enough assistance tend to do things on their own. When they do things on their own, they put themselves at risk of an accident. So, the next time you visit your parents, be sure to check for unexplained injuries. When you spot some cuts and bruises, ask your parents about it and confirm the answer with the attendant. In cases like this, it is better if the nursing home has a CCTV camera, so you can replay events from the previous days.
Two: Emotional changes
As one gets older, they experience several emotional changes. However, if these changes happen in a span of one or two months, there’s definitely something wrong with their new environment.
Has your mother stopped participating in activities she used to love doing? Does your father seem more quiet and forlorn? These can be tell-tale signs of nursing home abuse. Abuse rouses feelings of fear, withdrawal, and agitation. Just be careful not to take emotional changes as concrete proof of nursing home abuse. Sometimes, these changes are merely caused by the change of environment.
Three: Frantic staff
It’s true that even the best nursing homes experience hectic times. However, these should not be something that happens every single time. If the nursing home seems chaotic every time you pay a visit, then you should feel alarmed. It’s easy to neglect one or two patients in an overly busy place.
Four: Unanswered calls
Once in awhile, you want to check up on your parent, so you call the nursing home. If they answer you every time you call, then that’s a good sign. However, if you have to wait for a long time before anyone pushes the answer button, then you have to find out why the staff has been busy. After all, if the staff has a habit of neglecting calls, how sure are you that they promptly attend to your parent’s needs whenever they are needed?
Five: Fear of the staff
Perhaps, the most reliable sign that will tell you whether or not your parents have been abused is fear. Fear is a strong emotion caused by something deemed dangerous. In a nursing home, this emotion may develop in the face of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse.
Does your parent show signs of dread whenever he sees the staff? Does he seem upset? Is he avoiding anyone in the nursing home? If he does all these, you might want to start your own investigation and ask around.
If proven that the nursing home shows neglect or abuse, you can take legal action and move your parents to another nursing home. If the case is serious, it can even end up in court.