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Elderly abuse: Questions to ask your relatives in nursing homes

Victims of neglect and abuse at assisted living facilities are often shy to speak up about their experiences. They may be worried that their abusers will make their lives even more difficult if they talk about what's happening. They might even be afraid or embarrassed to tell their own families about the nursing home abuse.

This is why we need to support our relatives and loved ones to speak up -- and to know that we're available to help them whenever they need it. Here are some questions to ask your loved one from time to time if they're living in a nursing facility:

  • Does anyone here refuse to take you to the bathroom?
  • Does anyone here avoid giving you food, medicine or other necessities?
  • Does anyone here isolate you alone in your room when you want to enjoy visiting other people?
  • Does anyone here restrain you or tie you up?
  • Does anyone here touch you in inappropriate ways?
  • Does anyone here call you names or humiliate you?
  • Does anyone here threaten or scold you?
  • Does anyone here scare you?
  • Does anyone here hurt you?
  • Does anyone here refuse to take you to help you when you need it?

If your loved one answers "yes" to any of these questions, follow up for more information. Ask exactly who it is, when it happened, how often it happened and collect as many details as you can. All the while empower your loved one to know that you will protect him or her from further abuse and that you're going to keep your loved one safe.

You may also want to reach out to an attorney who helps the victims of nursing home neglect and abuse. An attorney will be able to tell you if your loved one has a viable claim for damages.

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