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What are the indicators of nursing home neglect and abuse?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect

Older adults residing in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities are vulnerable to physical, psychological and sexual abuse. Sometimes, these cases may even go undetected or disregarded after being discovered.

If you have a loved one living in these institutions, you can help mitigate this issue by looking for signs of a possible problem. This way, you can report suspicious situations immediately and remove your elderly parents or grandparents from a harmful environment.

Signs of elder abuse in nursing homes

Obvious symptoms of physical abuse are bruises or welts on the victim’s skin. You should also look for injuries like bone fractures, wounds and sprains.

Broken eyeglasses or other personal items are also indicators of physical assault. Check your loved one’s arms and legs for signs of being restrained or subjected to painful punishment.

Nursing home patients may also suffer emotional or psychological trauma due to abuse. You should talk to their caregivers if they are suddenly nonresponsive without a proper explanation.

Biting, rocking and other unusual behaviors may also indicate psychological assault. The onset of new mental health issues like anxiety and depression are also symptoms of maltreatment.

If your elderly family member exhibits an unexplainable change in their eating or sleeping habits, they may be experiencing emotional abuse.

Residents in nursing homes may also be suffering from sexual abuse. Signs that may indicate this type of maltreatment include blood on the victim’s clothes and bedsheets. Unexplained bleeding from the victim’s genital area is also a symptom.

Other red flags you shouldn’t ignore include:

  • A caregiver refusing to let you see or speak to your loved one alone.
  • A senior’s report of mistreatment or getting hurt.
  • A resident is claiming sexual assault.

Take the time to listen to your older family member when they share their experience while living in the care facility. If you disregard their statements, you may not get them the help they need.

Report suspicious situations in nursing homes

In Tennessee, the state government requires citizens to report suspicious incidents involving elder abuse. While reporting is mandatory, you are not responsible for proving the crime. You only have to report the situation to the proper authorities, who will conduct a thorough investigation.