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Signs of nursing home abuse

November 26, 2015

Nursing home abuse or neglect is an unfortunate occurrence that some Kentucky residents may have to deal with. The Administration on Aging states that there are several signs to look for when keeping an eye out for potential abuse in a nursing home. The first group of signs relate to the physical condition of the residents and can include:

  • Bedsores, poor hygiene or weight loss
  • Bruising, pressure marks, abrasions
  • Burns
  • Broken bones or sprains

Physical signs of abuse or neglect often stand out more because they cannot easily be hidden or explained away by abusive staff members. For example, suspiciously-shaped bruises such as the ones caused by a tight grip cannot be contributed to clumsiness.

The other group of signs involve the mental and emotional state of nursing home residents. Signs can include withdrawing from normal activities, exhibiting symptoms of depression, or being less alert than usual. Strained relationships riddled with arguments can be another sign. For example, nursing home residents getting into frequent arguments or disagreements with the caretaker can point to potential abuse.

The National Center on Elder Abuse also states that sudden changes can also be a sign of potential abuse even if they aren’t emotional. This is especially true in the case of unexplained financial changes, which can happen due to exploitation, such as when a staff member is attempting to get money out of the resident by coercing them to write checks.

Repeat occurrences of any of these issues should also be noted. The more frequently suspicious activity or unexplainable changes happen, the more likely it is that negligence or abuse may be occurring.