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3 warning signs of neglect and abuse in nursing homes

It is frustrating to realize that the care your parent is receiving in a nursing home may be inadequate. It is even worse to think about your parent being the victim of neglect or abuse. Unfortunately, substandard care and violence are problems in far too many elderly care facilities. 

But how do you know when the nursing home your parent is staying in is bad? Here are some serious red flags that may give you a clue your parent is in the wrong hands.

1. Deflecting questions

If the nursing staff is giving you a sense that they are trying to hide something, you should be suspicious. While it is normal to get a response such as, “I do not know, but let me find out,” you should be wary if it happens on a regular basis or your questions are going without an answer. If you are unhappy with the answers you are receiving from the nursing home staff, it may be a sign that something more sinister is occurring. 

2. Inadequate staff

If the staff members are few and far between, your parent may be getting substandard care. A nursing home should have a robust team of people to readily provide care whenever necessary. If you notice that the care facility is always chaotic or the staff is frantic, your concerns are valid. Another warning sign is if the staff is constantly turning over. 

3. Physical and emotional changes

You should always pay attention to your parent. Pay special attention if you notice any of these behaviors or injuries when you see your parent:

  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Agitation
  • Weight loss
  • Bruises
  • Pressure ulcers

Talk to your parent and the nursing staff about any of these changes to determine the root cause. Some of these things may simply be due to the aging process or a disease rather than neglect or abuse, so do not make any accusations without solid proof.


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