Nursing home abuse comes in different forms. This can be inflicted physically, emotionally, sexually and in the form of neglect. But sometimes, we fail to recognize certain acts of abuse, especially those that are subtle and the effects of which are not immediately apparent. Unfortunately, residents may also feel scared to report the abuse or are unsure if what they are experiencing is one.
Having an idea of what unrecognizable acts are considered abuse can help loved ones look for signs and take the necessary action.
What to look out for
It is a given that a resident’s family should always ensure the former’s safety when they can. But they must exert extra effort to make sure that they are not missing any subtle signs. Here are a few things to look out for when checking up on a loved one in a nursing home:
- Dehydration and malnutrition: An elder’s family might not instantly notice signs of dehydration and malnutrition since it may take weeks or months for weight loss to become apparent.
- Hidden injuries: An elder can suffer from injuries that are beyond visual inspection. This includes broken bones and pressure sores.
- Personality and behavioral changes: Unless the elder steps up and reports emotional or sexual abuse, a family member will not easily notice the same. Looking for signs of trauma, depression and other personality and behavioral changes can help a resident’s family confirm the existence of abuse.
These are only a few things to look out for when visiting a loved one in a nursing home. Since nursing home residents may be reluctant to report abuse, families should step forward to prevent their loved ones from being victims of abuse or to take the necessary steps to hold the nursing home accountable for the abuse.