Protect Your Loved One: Know the Signs of Elder Abuse

When we put our elderly loved ones into nursing homes, we trust that they will be well taken care of and will be given better care than we are able to provide.Sadly, this is not always the case. Even after weeks or months of searching for the right place, sometimes we can be deceived. Whether it is because the facility is understaffed and the workers are overworked and underpaid, or if the staff is simply uncompassionate and over their jobs, sometimes the care can fall short.

Pay Attetion to the Signs

If your elderly loved one is in a nursing home, it is important that you pay attention to his or her behavior and that you keep your eyes out for any signs of mistreatment. In many cases, our loved ones won’t tell us that they are being mistreated because they are too embarrassed, ashamed or afraid. And in other cases, they are unable to communicate. That is why it is so important for us to pay attention to the signs.

Behavior Changes

One of the biggest signs that something may not be right is sudden changes in your loved one’s behavior such as:

  • Being withdrawn
  • Not talking or wanting to visit
  • Showing signs of depression or distance
  • Refusing to accept visitors
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Acting out of it or over medicated
  • Being more attached than usual and crying when you leave
  • Whispering or acting extra jumpy or afraid

Interaction with the Staff

Another thing you should pay attention to is the interaction between your loved one and the staff at the facility. How do they interact? Does the staff allow you to visit privately with your loved one? Does your loved one act differently around the staff?You should also pay attention to the way the staff responds to and interacts with other patients at the facility. Do they respond quickly? Do they ignore requests from other residents or seem put out by requests and needs?

Living Conditions

You can also tell a lot by the conditions of facility. Is it clean? Do you smell foul odors? Are your loved one’s clothes and/or bed sheets soiled or dirty? These can be signs that your loved one’s health is being neglected and that he or she is living in unsanitary conditions.Also, pay attention to the wellbeing of your loved one. Has he or she experienced sudden weight loss? Does he or she have unexplained broken bones or bruises? Does he or she have bedsores that aren’t getting better? Does he or she seem over medicated or complain that the staff isn’t keeping up with his or her medication dose?All of these signs may indicate that your loved one is being mistreated. Remember, elder abuse doesn’t necessarily mean physical abuse. It can also mean neglect, harassment and verbal mistreatment.

When you should Contact an Attorney?

Even if you are unsure if something is wrong or if your loved one won’t talk about it with you, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible if you suspect maltreatment. Don’t take chances with your loved one’s health and wellbeing. As San Diego elder abuse and neglect lawyers, the attorneys of The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock represent families who believe their loved ones are being mistreated. We work with some of the area’s top experts to investigate what is happening and will make sure that any maltreatment is exposed and that all parties are held accountable.To schedule a consultation to discuss a potential claim, please contact our law office today.