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Is your loved one a victim of nursing home abuse?

It was not easy for you to place your elderly loved one into a nursing home. But it was the only way you could ensure that they would receive the care and attention they need. Now that you are aware that nursing home abuse and negligence are common occurrences in Jackson, you are not so sure your relative is receiving the quality and scope of care they require. To ensure your elderly relative is in a safe and nurturing environment, you should learn how to recognize the signs of elderly abuse.

Sudden decline in appearance and mental state

It is not uncommon for older people to change in appearance and their mental state as they age. But sudden changes, such as a drastic loss in weight, confusion and unexplainable mood changes are causes for alarm. These changes often indicate that there is abuse or negligence going on that is causing your elderly relative to respond in a manner that enables them to endure it.

Unexplainable bruises, scrapes and injuries

The risk of slips and falls increases with age; so does the risk of bruises, scrapes, broken bones and other injuries. Your loved one’s nursing home should have safety equipment in place to minimize the occurrence of fall incidents. Increased lighting, and safety rails in common pathways, bathrooms and other areas of the building can help keep your relative from receiving accidental injuries that commonly come from slips and falls. Nursing home staff should also have proper training so they can assist your relative, regardless if he or she is a fall risk, with getting in and out of bed and chairs and back and forth to the bathrooms and other areas in the facility.

Bedsores

If your relative is bedbound or requires assistance getting in and out of bed, the staff must change their positions often to prevent the development of pressure sores. Bedsores are completely preventable if the workers do what is necessary to prevent them, such as massaging your loved one’s limbs, repositioning them frequently and using compression devices to improve circulation. The presence of bedsores is an extreme sign of neglect and abuse and should never occur.

Tense and scared expressions around caregivers

You should visit your relative as often as possible and pay careful attention to the way he or she responds to caregivers. If your loved one looks scared, timid or tense when certain nursing home workers are near, there is a chance something is going on that requires your attention. Your relative may not feel confident or safe enough to speak up about any abuse from caregivers.

Nursing home abuse is on the rise, but it is not the norm. If you suspect your loved one is suffering at the hands of a nursing home caregiver, you should speak to an attorney about the situation to learn more about your options.

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