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What Are Non-Physical Signs of Abuse?

When you hear about cases of nursing home abuse or neglect, you often hear about the potentially gruesome physical aspects first. You may also feel like most people pick up the first red flags through physical warning signs.

But this is not always the case. Not only that, but some forms of abuse or neglect do not have physical red flags at first. Thus, you should keep an eye out for any non-physical signs that may tip you off.

Behavioral patterns

The National Institute on Aging discusses the signs that may give away abuse or neglect. Some are physical, but many indicators are non-physical and these are the ones that often show first.

For example, observe your loved one’s behavior. In specific, pay attention to how they react among staff members. Do they seem relaxed and at ease? Do they seem nervous or agitated? Is there anyone in particular that they have negative reactions to? Do not simply write it off if you notice this; it may point to an abuser.

How the staff behaves

Pay attention to the staff itself, too. Are they open? Do they answer your questions quickly and honestly? Is there transparency among the staff? Can you contact anyone with problems and know they will help solve your issues? Or are they furtive and secretive? Do employees often quit? Do they seem disorganized or understaffed?

Finally, listen to what your loved one says. In some cases, abuse or neglect goes overlooked because of the mental issues of the victim, such as dementia. But you always want to err on the side of caution and investigate claims yourself before making a call.

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