How can I tell if my parent is a victim of nursing home abuse?

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As parents and grandparents age, their family members must make important decisions about their health and well-being. One of these decisions revolves around securing the best environment for elders who can no longer take care of themselves. Most people work full-time jobs and are unable to remain at home with an elderly or infirm loved one. Often, the only remaining option is a nursing home.

After decades of hearing horror stories about elderly injuries and deaths due to abuse or neglect in a nursing home, family members experience a lot of stress about the decision. Unfortunately, this stress often continues after finding a placement for a loved one because of the ongoing worries about abuse.

Sometimes, a family member suspects nursing home abuse every time a loved one gets a bruise or a scratch. Other times, families fail to connect repeated injuries to possible abuse. Many injury lawyers have an increased awareness of abuse because they often handle medical malpractice claims involving elders. As such, they advise families to look for the following signs of abuse.

  • Frequent unexplained falls resulting in personal injury
  • Development of bedsores or open wounds
  • Poor personal hygiene such as body odor, overgrown nails and unwashed hair
  • Unexplained bone fractures and other injuries
  • Sudden weight loss or signs of dehydration (e.g. cracked lips)
  • Unexplained fearfulness, anxiety or depression

Elderly people are extremely vulnerable to abuse and to neglect. Many times, a family’s fears turn out to be unfounded, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Please seek help if you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse or other form of medical malpractice in a Pennsylvania facility.

Source: CarePathways, “10 Warning Signs of Elderly Neglect or Abuse in a Nursing Home,” Clare Absher RN, BSN, accessed April 25, 2018

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