Tragically, nursing home abuse is all too common in nursing home facilities around the country. Too many seniors worry about experiencing aggressive action, or even assault, or emotional or financial abuse at the hands of a caregiver.
For families, nursing home abuse can also be a nightmare. Families depend on nursing home facilities to take care of an aging family member, but when unanswered questions emerge, a cloud settles over the family. How do you resolve a dangerous situation? How do you prove that something terrible is going on?
Here are some of the common signs to look for if you suspect that your family member may be suffering from some form of nursing home abuse.
Abrupt Changes in Medication
In some nursing home abuse cases, caregivers try to increase medications to inhibit the ability of the nursing home resident to report some claim.
Along with intimidation, changes in medication can silence someone who has been exposed to nursing home abuse. This can make it harder for family members to come in and try to get answers or communicate individually with the nursing home resident.
Another big warning or red flag is when staff does not allow family members to be with the nursing home resident in private. This is a clear contradiction to the rights of seniors and should be immediately addressed.
Signs of Abuse
Family members also look for physical signs that abuse may have taken place. Unexplained bruises or lacerations, rope marks or torn clothing are some of the most common physical signs. Again, many families can find out more by asking the right questions and staying very closely engaged in the nursing home resident’s life. It’s always important to visit as often as possible, to try to get a better picture of what’s going on.
Control of Finances
Sometimes those who are abusing seniors try to hold their finances hostage, either to hide various types of abuse or for the sheer purpose of stealing from the individual in question. Many older adults have built up net worth over the course of their lives, and are somewhat powerless to control it. By using power of attorney or some other avenue, a dishonest caregiver can open the door to financial abuse, and it can quickly spiral out of control from casual petty theft to extremely egregious cases of fraud and high-dollar thievery.
These are just some of the warning signs that family members should look for if they are worried about a nursing home abuse situation. Don’t allow yourself to get complacent and miss indications that there may be a problem going on at a local nursing home. For more detailed advice and consultation, talk to Steve Watrel, a local Jacksonville lawyer who knows his way around nursing home abuse cases. Steve Watrel and his staff have helped many Jacksonville area families get justice under the law and to discover what they’re dealing with when they suspect improper behavior on the part of nursing home staff. Let us work through the case with you to be sure that you have adequate representation to help keep your elderly family member safe.