Most families select nursing homes for their loved ones after painstakingly reviewing several options. They place their family member in the care of what they hope is a compassionate group of people, but this is not always the case.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the five most common types of abuse perpetrated by nursing home staff are physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Here are three signs to help families identify signs of mistreatment.
1. Sudden withdrawal from social life
If a nursing home resident suddenly abstains from social activities both in the dwelling and with family, it could indicate abuse. Once vibrant seniors who withdraw from their routines without a cognitive decline could have experienced some type of abuse at the hands of their caregivers.
2. Extreme weight loss
Patients who lose a significant amount of weight may feel depressed due to the mistreatment they face. Alternatively, those aging individuals may have their food intake controlled or altered by their abuser.
3. Distinct change in behavior
With nursing home patients it can often feel difficult to know if something is a sign of mistreatment or a sign of mental decline. If a family member seems more angry or erratic in a short timeframe, it could indicate something amiss in the facility.
Though loving children and grandchildren try to ascertain top-notch care for their older family members, staying alert to the possibility of nursing home abuse is wise. Unfortunately, it happens all too often with 32% of nursing home staff admitting to emotionally abusing residents.