When you put your parents or other older loved ones into a nursing facility, you expect that the staff will care for them properly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as care facilities grow more overcrowded and short-staffed. It is important to recognize indicators of abuse, especially if your loved one is unable to communicate, as can be the case with someone who has Alzheimer’s or another condition presenting with neurological decline.
Here are some of the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect to look for if your parents or relatives reside in a Massachusetts assisted living facility.
Seeing unexplained bruises
Many older adults bruise relatively easily, especially if they require frequent bloodwork or are at risk for falls. However, if your loved one is bedridden or if there are no other plausible explanations for the bruising, it is a possibility that there is abuse going on.
Noticing unused medication
If you visit someone in a nursing home regularly, keep track of their medications and how many pills they need to take per day. If there are consistently more pills than expected, it could be a sign that the staff forgets to give the patient their needed medications, something that could easily cost a vulnerable patient his or her life.
Refusing you time alone
Barring extreme circumstances such as the risk of harm to you or the patient, staff should not refuse to grant you alone time with your loved one. Saying no, when there is no medical rationale to do so, is a red flag in and of itself.
Knowing some of the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect allows you to report suspected abuse and helps ensure that your loved one is not living someplace where they are in danger.