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4 signs of nursing home abuse to watch for

When caring for your elderly relations becomes too much for you to handle, it is often easiest to turn to a nursing home or some type of assisted living facility. This means that you trust the care and well-being of your loved ones to the facility's staff. Unfortunately, some do not take this responsibility seriously.

Many Americans are abused or neglected in facilities all over the country. You should always be aware what to watch for if you are concerned about how a facility is treating your family member when you are not around.

1. Issues with personal hygiene

One of the main things many patients need help with is personal hygiene tasks, like getting dressed, bathing, hair combing, nail clipping and more. If the staff are neglecting these tasks, it may be time to have a discussion with your loved one about the treatment.

2. Lack of nutrition

Another sign of inadequate staffing in a nursing home is the inability to keep patients fed and hydrated. Often, this is one of the first signs that residents are being neglected or abused. Watch closely for malnutrition or dehydration.

3. Depression or anxiety

Abuse often manifests through psychological issues such as depression, anxiety or isolation. Your loved one may become closed off and unresponsive, or may seem afraid whenever a caretaker enters the room. If you notice an unexplained change in mood or demeanor, take it seriously and ask what is going on.

4. Unexplained wounds or injuries

Physical abuse is often evident simply from injuries that should not be there, such as welts, bruises, cuts or wounds that are at different healing points. If the patient or resident seems to be frequently injured or ill, this may be a sign of abuse or neglect.

When to act

With elderly loved ones, you cannot afford to ignore signs of abuse or neglect. If you notice any of the common indications of problems in a nursing home, it is in the best interests of you and the resident to investigate more fully.

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