There are more and more seniors these days as life expectancy improves. However, as people get old they can’t always look after themselves as well as they deserve. Mobility may become difficult and taking on routine tasks may simply become too daunting. Relatives may not be able to help as much as they are able due to their own family and work commitments, so often a decision is made by the senior and his or her relatives to enter a care or assisted living facility depending on the physical state of the senior at the time the decision is made.
Unfortunately, care facilities, even though they are often expensive and stretch the limits of any family’s budget, don’t always provide the standard of care you might expect from such an establishment. So often, profit is the central focus – not quality care.
Some of the ways that such facilities cut costs is by limiting both the number and quality of care staff they employ. This can mean your senior may be neglected or signs of physical or mental distress may go unnoticed for days or weeks.
If you have the time you can minimize these sorts of events happening by visiting your loved one on a regular basis, which keeps the care facility on its toes. But if you are unable to visit regularly you should check for any abuse when you do get the chance. There are some signs outlined below:
Physical Injuries Can be a Sign of Abuse
Even though your senior may be more vulnerable to injury, any sign of bed sores, broken bones, bruising on arms or legs or around the head could indicate signs of abuse.
Changes in physical appearance
There are other signs of abuse that may not be physically noticeable and these include unexplained weight loss, signs of fatigue such as falling asleep when you are communicating and dry skin. These sorts of symptoms which are typically signs of dehydration and malnutrition are unacceptable in a nursing home or any other care facility. If your loved one looks dirty this could be a sign of poor care.
Change in Emotional or Mental State
If you detect any emotional or mental distress when you visit your elderly relative, which seems to be out of character, such as a sudden verbal outburst or signs of restlessness as these could be signs of neglect or deliberate abuse. Becoming withdrawn could also be a sign of abuse. You know your loved one better than anyone else so any change in his or her mental state should be recorded.
Monitor Behavior Changes
There are other signs you should be aware of and they include trying to escape from the facility, refusal to eat, refusal to take medications and fear when you touch your loved one. Unusual behavior, such as sucking on fingers and rocking from side to side could be signs of neglect.
An Individual Caregiver Could be the Problem
If you notice your senior acts strangely in the negative sense in the presence of a particular care giver, this could be a sign of abuse. Remember that your loved one is dependent on the people around them so he or she will not necessarily tell you if someone is abusive. They are dependent for food, bathing and medical care which may be enough for your senior to stay quiet, even if he or she is not happy.
Your loved one is entitled to the best care possible and injury or neglect is unacceptable. You may be able to file a personal injury claim if you believe your loved one is suffering in the hands of care staff at the nursing home or care facility.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
If you suspect that your senior has been abused, don’t try to take on the management of the nursing home yourself as they are notorious for covering up signs of abuse. You should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the choices you have to stop these illegal abuses of your loved.
It would help if you could provide some evidence. This could be in the form of photographs of unexplained visible marks on the victim’s body or recordings of conversations. Whatever evidence you can supply will help your attorney to compile and file a personal injury claim on behalf of your loved.