Nursing homes can provide our elderly loved ones with the extra care they may need day to day. Tragically, however, these facilities are not always safe, as they can expose the elderly to physical, verbal, sexual and/or emotional abuse.
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, understanding the common red flags of nursing home abuse will be critical to knowing when to get help and protect your loved one. Below, we’ll point out some of signs to look for when you suspect nursing home abuse has occurred.
Know these Red Flags of Nursing Home Abuse
1 – Rapid weight loss
Although some medical conditions can cause elderly people to suddenly lose weight, when a rapid weight loss occurs independent of a medical condition, this can be a red flag that a loved one has been the target of nursing home abuse. This is because a sudden drop in weight can indicate that:
- A resident is malnourished and/or dehydrated.
- A resident is not eating as a result of the emotional impacts of sexual, verbal or physical abuse.
Getting to the bottom of such weight loss and possible abuse can be especially challenging when a loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s (and, therefore, may have difficulty remembering/talking about the abuse); so, be sure to have a discussion with nursing home staff if you start noticing your loved one displaying this warning sign.
2 – Extreme emotional withdrawal
Shutting down emotionally can be another indication of nursing home abuse – particularly if a resident becomes withdrawn when certain staff and/or other residents are around. So, if your loved one who is normally engaged and upbeat starts to pull away from you, take this as a warning sign and do some more investigating to see if (s)he may have been the subject of abuse.
3 – Unexplained new injuries
Another more obvious sign of nursing home abuse can be the development of bruising, broken bones and other injuries that don’t seem to have any explanation/logical cause.
While such injuries can indicate that an elderly loved one is being physically assaulted in the home, these injuries may also reveal that a loved one is being improperly restrained, is not being properly supervised or assisted, etc.
4 – Unusual behavioral changes
This can include sucking thumbs, starting to wet the bed or doing anything new and out of the norm/unusual. Such behavioral changes can be the manifestations of nursing home abuse, especially for elderly loved ones who are not able to communicate that abuse (because, for instance, they are living with Alzheimer’s or some other condition).
St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
Do you believe your elderly loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse? If so, it’s time to contact a trusted St Louis personal injury lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law. We have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting.
To find out more about how we can help you, attend a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our St Louis lawyers. You can schedule this meeting by calling us at 573-333-3333 for our Missouri office or at 618-888-8888 for our Illinois office. You can also email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen.