America is getting older and that means more and more of our parents and grandparents are spending time in nursing homes. While we always wish for the best for our elderly, nursing homes don’t always get the job done the way they need to. Sometimes it is merely a matter of being understaffed. Other times bad nursing home workers take malicious pleasure in abusing the elderly.
Here is how you can spot signs of elder abuse in order to protect your loved ones:
- Check for physical signs of abuse. If your elderly relative or friend has obvious bruises, scratches or other injuries, this may be a sign of elder abuse.
- Watch for emotional signs of abuse. Uncharacteristically reserved or withdrawn behavior or major mood changes could indicate your loved one is being emotionally abused.
- Check their hygiene and health. Neglect is a form of abuse — failing to regularly change bed sheets, empty bed pans or serve meals on time is also a problem. If you see signs that your loved ones are living with soiled sheets or clothing or if you notice a significant change in weight or appetite, you need to ask questions.
- Check on financial activities. Finally, be sure to watch bank accounts as well as any legal documents that your elderly relatives may be asked to sign. Large withdrawals or long, detailed legal documents may be signs of trouble.
If you suspect your loved one’s nursing home is guilty of committing elder abuse, it is important to deal with it right away. Depending on the specifics of the circumstances, you may want to contact the police as well as a qualified elder abuse lawyer. Your attorney can help you protect your loved one while recovering compensation for medical treatment and other expenses.