How to Spot Signs of Nursing Home Abuse When Visiting a Relative

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For many, the holiday season means visits with family and trips to see old friends. Paying a visit to a relative or friend in a nursing home is a common activity this time of year. If you haven’t made the trip to your loved one’s nursing home in a while, it’s important to not only cherish the time you spend with them, but also ensure they remain well-cared for and comfortable.

Sadly, statistics show that elder abuse increases around the holidays – particularly in areas of financial abuse, but it’s important to be aware of all the symptoms of nursing home abuse. The elder law attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere have compiled a list of some of the signs. You can also consult the Kentucky government’s elder abuse resources.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

  • Physical Marks: Injuries like bruises, burns, severely dry lips/skin (a sign of dehydration) indicate the resident may have been physically abused, especially if injuries are unexplained.
  • Appearance Neglected: Dirty hair/face, inappropriate clothing, and lack of dentures, glasses or other necessary accessories suggest the individual is not being properly cared for.
  • Personality Changes: Lack of eye contact, withdrawn behavior, anxiety, and fear of the caretaker are a few warning signs, particularly if your loved one was more sociable previously.
  • Facility Conditions: If there’s inadequate heating, dirty living conditions, faulty electrical wiring or fire hazards within the nursing home, the home is not taking proper measures to ensure residents’ comfort and safety.

What should you do if you witness any of these signs when visiting this holiday season? Of course, call the appropriate authorities if a loved one is in danger. The next step is to report your findings to an experienced elder law attorney so that the procedure of collecting evidence can begin immediately.

Garcia & Artigliere handle each case with sensitivity and expertise. If you suspect a friend or relative is suffering from nursing home abuse, please reach out for a free case review.