The holiday season mainly consists of gift exchanges, festive events, and spending time with the ones you love the most. While many families take a trip to another city or state, there are others who will visit elderly family members in nursing homes.
For nursing home residents, being visited by loved ones is a joyful and uplifting experience. However, you must also keep an eye out for any potential signs of abuse or neglect, especially if your family member has difficulties communicating or appears afraid to speak out against nursing home abuse.
The following are common red flags that could suggest your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect:
- Injuries – Physical injuries are a telltale sign of abuse and neglect. Common signs of abuse include unexplained bruises, broken bones, and marks of restraint such as rope burns. Regarding neglect, bedsores and pressure sores develop when a resident isn’t rotated as frequently enough in his/her bed or his/her wheelchair. When it comes to sexual abuse injuries, common signs include bruising near private parts, unexplained STDs, and stained or bloody undergarments.
- Lack of staff – Many people take time off during the holidays, including nursing home staff members. When there is a staff shortage, the risk of neglect increases, resulting in malnourishment, dehydration, weight loss, and lack of hygiene among residents. Additionally, staff members are trained to identify psycho-social impairments, including depression and anxiety, and can immediately address the issue if they see any resident experiencing them. Since the holiday season is associated with fond memories and nostalgia, residents may feel more depressed than ever, especially if their family lives far away or do not have any.
- Fear – Nursing home residents may also suffer from emotional abuse. For example, your loved one may not want to be alone with a particular staff member or shows irregular behavior in the presence of that caregiver. Furthermore, a staff member may be reluctant to leave you alone with your loved one.
- Financial issues – Due to the declining state of many residents, nursing home staff members may try to exploit them financially. Common signs of financial abuse are unexplained cash withdrawals, missing money and personal belongings, new names appearing on bank accounts, and even requests for additional funds.
If you feel that something is amiss, first ask your loved one how he/she is being treated and report any concerns to nursing home administrators, state regulatory bodies, and even the local law enforcement officials. If you believe your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect in Sacramento, The Law Office of Mark A. Redmond, PC, we are committed to holding the negligent parties liable for the careless and reckless actions and helping your family obtain maximum compensation.
Contact us today at (916) 905-5505 and schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you and your family.