If you walk into the nursing home and find your parent tied to the bed or sporting a black eye, you will probably storm into the manager’s office to ask why they are abusing them.
Yet, most nursing home abuse is far more subtle, which is why so many abusers get away with it.
Abusers do not always leave physical signs for visiting relatives to discover, and your relatives may be too scared or embarrassed to tell you. Or their mental health may have declined to the point where they no longer can.
Hence, you need to stay vigilant for signs that something may be wrong such as these:
Stealing an elderly resident’s money or persuading them to give you money might not involve physically harming them, but it is still abuse when that’s done by a paid caregiver. Keeping a close eye on your parents’ bank accounts and watching for changes to legal documents such as wills is wise. While most carers are good people, one with ill intentions could exploit their time with your parent to their advantage.
Do not expect your parent to stay on the same emotional plane from the time they enter the nursing home until their eventual demise. Like anyone, they will have good days and bad days, and illness and age can alter their ability to talk, express emotions, or even recognize you.
However, it is wise to consider that noticeable behavioral changes may also have a worrisome root, such as abuse.
Look for subtle signs. For example, sudden weight loss could indicate something is bothering them so much they do not want to eat — or that their caregivers are not bothering to ensure your loved one eats.
If your parent is in a nursing home, they have limited time left. Getting legal help to address nursing home abuse can help you maximize it.