Some families struggle with the notion of placing their loved one in a
nursing home facility, but in many cases making such a move is for the
best, or at least it should be. Unfortunately,
nursing home abuse and neglect are not uncommon, and the causes vary among facilities.
Nursing home workers are often overworked, underpaid and improperly trained.
Staff shortages are common, and an overcrowded facility can worsen conditions.
Like hotels, facilities can vary greatly in their décor and amenities,
however, sometimes the worst cases of nursing home abuse and neglect occur
at facility that appears to be the best in its class – giving family
members a false sense of security.
The Alzheimer’s Connection
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), research indicates
that seniors living with dementia are at a greater risk of being abused
than those without. About 5.1 million elderly Americans over 65 have Alzheimer’s
or another form of dementia, and one 2009 study revealed that nearly 50%
of participants with dementia had been neglected or abused by their caregivers.
Unfortunately, many cases of elder abuse go unreported because the victims
are unable to report it, or when they do, their caregivers often say it’s
a “figment of their imagination.”
Growing up during the Great Depression and coming of age during World War
II, sometimes elderly people don’t complain because they’ve
been raised to “deal with it,” but that doesn’t mean
that they should.
What to Look Out For
If you suspect neglect or abuse, there are visible signs that indicate
that your elderly relative is a victim, whether it be forced isolation,
verbal abuse, neglect, or physical forms of abuse. Here are the signs
to look out for:
- Personality or mood changes
- Appears very lethargic (possible over drugging)
- Sudden weight loss
- Listless or unresponsive
- Soiled clothing, poor hygiene
- The smell of urine or feces
- Restraint marks on wrists or ankles
- Ripped, stained, or bloody bedding or clothing
- Frequent arguments with caregiver
- Fear of caregiver
- Unexplained bruises or bleeding
- Unusual financial transactions
- Personal items disappear
If you arrive at the facility to visit your loved one during visiting hours
and the staff delays or refuses you access, or a staff member won’t
leave the room during your visit – these are red flags that they
are hiding something.
If you suspect abuse, you should contact a Plano and Dallas nursing home
abuse attorney from the
Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC as soon as possible.