There are many wonderful assisted living facilities in California and throughout the country. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll never encounter problems if your loved one resides in one. Nursing home abuse is a problem that occurs often and not only devastates families but can place patients’ lives and safety at risk.
You can’t be with your family member around the clock. You might even live a distance away that requires a lot of driving to visit your loved one. In your absence, there’s no way for you to know what’s happening at the nursing home. You must rely on conversations with your loved one to alert you to a problem. When you do visit, it’s imperative that you closely observe the surroundings and monitor the quality of care your family member is receiving.
If you notice red flags in these areas, nursing home abuse might be occurring
When your loved one enters a nursing home, you can expect quality care from staff members in accordance with state laws and accepted safety standards. The following list shows four types of abuse that have caused many nursing home patients severe injuries in recent years:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional/psychological/mental abuse
- Financial exploitation
Many issues can arise within each of these categories that place your loved one at risk. It’s understandable that you’d want to assume that staff members are providing quality care. However, nursing home abuse occurs too often to make such assumptions, especially if you notice issues that raise suspicion. It’s always best to request a meeting with administrators and staff members to investigate matters of concern.
What symptoms might you notice if nursing home abuse is taking place?
If someone is physically abusing your loved one in a California nursing home, you might see injuries on his or her body such as inflammation, bruising, swelling, cuts, or a broken bone or sprain. There should be a logical explanation for an injury. If you ask how an injury occurred and something doesn’t sit right with you when they give you an explanation, do not hesitate to further investigate the matter.
Symptoms of neglect often include dehydration, chronic hunger and bed sores. Also, if your loved one’s appearance is unkempt or you notice soiled linens on the bed and there’s a stench in the room, or your loved one has body odor that is out of the ordinary, these might be symptoms of neglect. You can often tell when a nursing home patient is being emotionally/psychologically or mentally abused because they will become nervous or frightened when the abuser walks into the room.
What does financial exploitation look like in action?
As for financial exploitation, if you learn of decisions your loved one has made or money is missing from an account, etc., it might mean that someone is coercing or convincing your family member to give them money. Another sign of financial exploitation might be that your loved one suddenly changes his or her last will and testament or estate plan, giving money or property to a staff member.
There is no excuse for nursing home abuse in California or elsewhere. If you believe that someone is abusing your loved one, you can enlist support from outside sources, such as local law enforcement officers or legal agencies.