Nursing home safety is a major concern for many people in Mississippi. Nursing home abuse and negligence claims are on the rise. There is a lack of resources to properly train and hire properly qualified personnel, leaving your relatives at risk of neglect, abuse, injury and even death. To keep them from becoming a statistic, you should learn how to protect your loved one from abuse.
Visit your senior relative frequently. If you are not able to visit as often as you like because of distance issues, enlist the help of other family members and family friends who live close by. Arrange those visits so that they appear to be random. By visiting often, you can keep track of what is going on with your loved one. This can help to deter negligent and abusive nursing home workers from targeting your loved one.
Watch for signs of abuse
Even if you have regular phone call conversations with your loved one, do not assume that everything is okay, especially if they insist it is. You need to see for yourself. Monitor their appearance and actions for signs of abuse. Common indicators include:
- Poorly kept appearance
- Sudden weight loss
- Sudden cognitive changes
- Bruises, broken bones and scrapes
If you notice any of the above signs, ask your elderly relative and their caregivers about them. Carefully listen to their explanations. Keep in mind that not all seniors show physical and emotional signs of abuse. However, that does not mean it is not going on. Every time you visit, take pictures. Pay attention to every word that is said just in case they are trying to tell you something without being obvious. You should also listen to what is not being said. If your loved one or the staff deflects your questions, or if anything does not seem to add up or sounds and looks suspicious, report your concerns to the head of the facility and the local Adult Protective Service agency.
Keep track of their belongings
Another form of abuse that you need to be aware of is financial. Many nursing home residents have valuables that they keep with them. Some residents still maintain control over their finances and assets. If you notice missing money or valuables they cannot account for, you should file a report with the facility and the local authorities.
Protecting your loved ones from abuse is not always easy, but it can be done. If you have questions or concerns about actions you can take to ensure seniors’ safety and well-being while they live in a nursing home, you should speak with an attorney about the situation.