We all want to believe that our loved ones are in good hands when living in a nursing home. Unfortunately, the reality is often far from it, and some residents are subjected to physical, emotional, and even financial abuse or neglect.
These victims of elder abuse may not be able to speak up for themselves due to age, illness, or disability—which means it’s up to you and me to be on the lookout for signs of mistreatment.
Of course, there is no universal sign of abuse. However, there are some red flags that often suggest something might not be right. In this article, we will look at the warning signs of abuse & neglect in nursing homes and provide tips on what you can do if you suspect your loved one is a victim.
Unusual Goods, Services, Or Subscriptions The Elder Couldn’t Have Signed On For
As a family member, friend, or caregiver of someone living in a nursing home, it’s important to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. One of the common signs to watch out for is unusual goods and services that your loved one can’t have signed up for, such as subscription magazines, strange bank withdrawals, or bills for services that aren’t needed.
These activities are usually done by people who are trying to profit from the elderly’s finances, who may have stolen mail or identity documents to get access to the person’s funds. This is known as elder financial abuse, and it’s, unfortunately, a reality in many nursing homes.
Be sure to check your loved one’s bank statements, credit card bills, and any notices they receive from creditors if you think they may be a victim of financial abuse. Also, look out for pricey items that your loved one couldn’t afford alone.
Unexplained Withdrawals From The Elderly Person’s Bank Accounts
Withdrawals from a senior’s bank account without their knowledge can indicate that they are the victims of financial abuse. These withdrawals can occur regularly, or a larger sum could be taken at one time. If you are concerned that a loved one is being taken advantage of financially, look for changes in their bank accounts.
Are there sudden and large withdrawals? Do you see any suspicious activity on the account? Have there been any checks written out to unfamiliar names or businesses? These are all red flags that point to potential financial abuse and exploitation. Talk to your elderly family member and get them to show you their banking statements and checkbook register. Ask an elder law attorney for advice if necessary.
Bruising, scars, or welts seen on the body
These signs don’t always immediately show up, but when they do, they could be evidence of physical abuse. So if you see any bruising, scarring, or welts on your elderly relative during a visit, it could be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
It’s not always easy to spot these signs, and the bruises may be hidden, so it’s important to look closely and pay attention to any explanations for the bruises given by staff at the nursing home. If an explanation doesn’t seem to fit or makes no sense, that could be a major warning sign that something more serious is happening.
It’s important to remember that some elderly people may bruise more easily due to age-related skin thinning, so if you think this is the case, then talk it through with staff and their doctor. Nevertheless, if you notice repeated bruises or any suspicious marks on their body, do not ignore them, as it could be evidence of physical abuse.
Dehydration and malnutrition
Another sign of abuse and neglect in nursing homes is if you see that the resident is showing signs of dehydration or malnutrition. While it’s normal for elderly people to lose some weight, if a resident has lost an extreme amount of weight, this could indicate abuse or neglect.
It’s important to keep an eye out for any signs that a resident is not eating or drinking enough. This can include a lack of energy, sunken eyes, dry skin, and dark circles under the eyes. Another indication that a resident may not get enough nutrients is if you see them eating food off the floor or hoarding it in their room.
If a loved one suffers from dehydration or malnutrition due to abuse or neglect, they can experience more serious health problems like confusion, falls, infections, and even death. So it’s important to look out for these signs and report any suspicions immediately.
Unexplained STDs or other genital infections
If you notice a sudden onset of an STD or other genital infection in a loved one, it could be a sign of abuse or neglect. Sexually transmitted diseases and infections can be the result of exploitation or forced sexual contact; pay attention to any sudden changes in behavior or physical symptoms that may indicate a problem.
Make sure to ask any medical professionals and caregivers about the onset of these symptoms—while it can be uncomfortable, it’s better to ask than to miss warning signs of abuse. If a loved one discloses that they’ve been the victim of unwanted sexual contact, abuse, or neglect, find help immediately and get them the assistance they need.
Unexplained weight loss
Have you noticed an elderly person rapidly losing weight in your life or at a nursing home? This can signify malnutrition caused by more than just a lack of nutrients. Abuse and neglect also affect people’s health, resulting in uncontrolled weight loss.
It’s important to watch out for signs indicating that the elder person is not receiving enough to eat – typically, they will stop socializing with others during mealtimes or not eat at all. They may become weaker and thinner than normal. It’s also important to note if they are easily irritable when offered food. It may be a sign that they are not being fed well. It’s important to talk to them to find out what’s causing the rapid weight loss.
Interestingly, caregivers in nursing homes sometimes overfeed seniors and underfeed them; if an elder has gained weight quickly, this could indicate malnourishment from being somehow overfed with unhealthy foods too!
Contact a Florida Nursing Home Liability Lawyer Serving Fort Lauderdale
Nursing home negligence can be heartbreaking for families, and you or your loved one deserves justice. If you feel that you or your loved one has experienced an injustice due to nursing home negligence, you need to take action. That’s where nursing home liability lawyers serving in For Lauderdale come in.
Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are a leading law firm serving Fort Lauderdale, Florida, focusing on nursing home negligence litigation cases. With years of combined experience fighting for justice on behalf of individuals, we have the know-how and resources to ensure that your case is heard and that you get the quality representation you deserve.
Our nursing home liability lawyers are knowledgeable in all aspects of negligence laws and are experienced in the intricacies of liability claims. They will help guide you through all stages of the legal process and ensure your rights and interests are protected at every step.
With their help, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. Contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers for a nursing home liability lawyer serving Fort Lauderdale, today at (561) 800-8000 for a free consultation.