If you're an adult who is fortunate to have one or both of your parents still with you, it can be a blessing, but it can also be difficult as you need to start making some tough decisions. If your elderly loved one has mobility limitations, or has been diagnosed with a terminal condition, it might be time to start looking at nursing homes.
As you look for a good home for your parent to spend their last years, you need to be aware of the fact that nursing home abuse is more common than you probably realize. With over 2 million cases of elder abuse reported each year in the United States, almost one out of every 10 seniors face the possibility of getting abused in a nursing home.
Nursing Home Abuse
If you plan on putting a parent in a nursing home, it's crucial that you know and understand the signs of nursing home abuse.
Physical: When a senior suffers physical abuse, they will usually have injuries or bruises that can't be explained. If they have been restrained against their will, they might also have rope burns around their wrists. Some other common injuries associated with the physical abuse of a nursing home patient include sprains, dislocations, bedsores, and broken eyeglasses.
Sexual: Seniors who are sexually assaulted in a nursing home may have an STD that can't be explained. They might also have bruising or bleeding in and around their private parts that isn't caused by a medical condition.
Emotional: When caregivers in a nursing home intimidates, humiliates, or ridicules a resident, it's considered emotional abuse. Common signs of this type of abuse include becoming withdrawn or exhibiting a feeling of helplessness. Some seniors might have problems sleeping and also experience memory loss.
Neglect: When a resident in a nursing home is neglected on a frequent basis, they can become malnourished and develop bedsores. Some examples of neglect include leaving residents in dirty clothes or not providing safe living conditions.
Know Where to Get Help
If you do put an elderly parent in a nursing home, you should know who to turn to for help as soon as you suspect nursing home abuse. The first step is to confront the nursing home administrator. If you need to, you can also file a complaint with the Adult Protective Services Department in your state.
If you need to take legal action, you will need to hire a nursing home injury attorney.