Lots of people have concerns when placing a family member in a nursing home. What if something happens to a loved one while they are in someone else’s care?
Elder abuse can be hard to spot, and it exists in many different forms. Here are some ways to look out for elder abuse problems.
Physical Elder Abuse
With physical abuse, you are looking mainly for physical symptoms. You’re looking closely for any black eyes, bruises, damage to bones and muscles, or anything else that could reveal evidence of abuse. Of course, you can also ask questions, and try to get your family member to tell you if anything bad has happened, but often signs of physical abuse are found on physical examination.
Sadly, nursing home residents are not immune to tragic circumstances that can happen when bad people can somehow get close enough to them to act in ways that constitute sexual abuse.
Here again, family members may have to do the harrowing work of inspecting their family member for signs of sexual trauma. Sometimes residents are courageous enough to speak up about what happened to them – so having long, detailed conversations can give them the opportunity to speak up. Experts also suggest looking for warning signs of emotional trauma, such as being withdrawn or depressed.
Financial abuse can happen very differently from other forms of abuse and is found out in many ways.
With financial elder abuse, you are often looking for a paper trail. Many of these complaints stem from someone going over a checkbook or online bank account and noticing that money is moving around in improper ways.
You can also get some of the warning signs directly from speaking with the nursing home resident. Family members who see suspicious or troubling transactions can take the initiative to ask directly and get more information about what may be happening. With financial elder abuse, there is often a coercive element – somebody might say that they are mom or dad’s “friend” or try to ingratiate themselves in the lives of the resident to get access to funds. In other cases, it’s much more behind the scenes – they’ll simply take money from an unsecured location, misuse a checkbook, or steal a PIN number.
In any case, spotting elder abuse involves being more engaged in a nursing home resident’s life. Spending more time at the bedside and in the facility is a clear way to get a better understanding of what’s going on – and it helps minimize the chances of your loved one being abused.
If you have any questions about a nursing home around Jacksonville Florida, talk to Steve Watrel. This experienced nursing home abuse lawyer helps families to work their way through these troubling cases, and understand their rights under the law.