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Recognize the signs of abuse to protect your loved one

old man in wheelchair.pngThere is nothing more upsetting that the moment when you have to decide to get your parent care in a nursing home. It's at that point that you realize that you can't do it on your own and that their decline into old age has begun.

It's frustrating and upsetting to have to move your loved one out of their home and into a new residence. It can be scary, too. After all, there are serious cases of nursing home abuse and neglect that you've read about. If that happened to someone you loved, then you'd be beside yourself.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect your loved one. One of them is knowing the signs of abuse, so you can stop it.

What are the signs of nursing home abuse?

There are dozens of things you can look for and recognize that aren't right, but the primary signs to look for include:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Unexplained injuries
  • A loss of lack of mobility
  • Psychological issues
  • Physical issues

For example, if you take your mother to a nursing home in good health, you might be shocked if no longer than a month later she has developed an infection from a lack of cleanliness. You might be alarmed to the potential for abuse or neglect if she suddenly loses several pounds, too, because of the facility's failure to take her to dinner or to bring meals to her.

Not all abuse is physical. Some is psychological. If you see major changes in a loved one's behavior, that's a cause for concern, too. For example, if your normally excitable parent is suddenly depressed or scared when nurses or aides come to the room, there is something wrong that needs to be addressed right away.

Similarly, if your loved one is in good health but suddenly starts having multiple falls or infections, it begs the question of what is happening to lead to these issues. While a single fall or infection might just be a sign of declining health, repeat offenses are something that you always need to look into.

The majority of health care providers in the United States' nursing homes do have your loved one's best interests at heart. It's still important for you to check on them regularly and to make sure you look for signs of abuse or neglect, since those actions could lead to injuries or death.

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