If you have entrusted an elderly loved one's care to professionals at a nursing home, you likely did so based on the assumption that a facility would be able to provide better care than you could. Imagine the horror if you were to find out that your loved one had been subjected to abuse and neglect at the hands of those who were committed to their safekeeping. According to ABC News, this is tragically true for as many as one in three nursing home residents. If you suspect such crimes may have been committed, you should pay attention to bed sores and three other potential indicators.
Bedsores can indicate abuse
Many people misunderstand bedsores or think that they are not that serious. Unfortunately, they are very serious and completely avoidable. Bedsores result from long-term neglect when a person has been confined to their bed for prolonged periods of time without moving. Once bedsores develop, they can cause severe pain and even death if they are left untreated.
1. Inexplicable injuries
If you notice that your loved one has suffered injuries, such as broken bones, fractures, bruises or cuts, there are only so many reasonable explanations that can be offered. When such injuries seem to recur and become consistent, you should certainly be suspect of whatever is going on. Needless to say, these can be signs that your loved one is being deliberately abused at worst or carelessly neglected at best.
2. Rage or mood swings
Sudden changes in the mood and disposition of your loved one can be caused by any number of phenomena, but abuse is one of the most common triggers. Aging tends to spur psychological changes, but if you sense hostility or depression you should not ignore these signs. Mistreatment can cause these and other behavioral problems to appear.
3. Signs they may be dehydrated
Like bedsores, dehydration is a problem that people often underestimate. This is especially true for elderly people. Signs of dehydration include tiredness, dry mouth and skin, headache, and dizziness. These symptoms can indicate that your loved one is not receiving the nutrition and hydration they need.
These are just some of the signs you might notice if elder abuse is taking place in a nursing home. If you have noticed these or any other concerns, contacting a lawyer may help you understand your family's legal options.