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What are less obvious signs of nursing home abuse?

Many senior citizens rely on the services of nursing homes. In fact, a report from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that in 2012, approximately 1.4 million seniors were living in assisted care facilities. As people get older, they are more likely to rely on the services of one of these residences.

While most of that population are perfectly content in nursing homes, there have been instances of abuse. Sometimes the abuse is not always as obvious as spotting bedsores and noticing symptoms of dehydration in a loved one. Occasionally, the signs are subtler. Anyone with a family member in an assisted care facility should be mindful of the following signs that could indicate abuse or negligence.

Withdrawn behavior

If a parent or grandparent was normally the life of the party but has now become more reclusive, then it could indicate abuse. People may also find that their loved ones mostly just want to sleep. When there are no other explanations for why general behavior has changed, it is vital to dig deeper.

Nervousness around staff members

Pay attention to how a loved one behaves around members of the nursing home staff. If he or she suddenly becomes quiet or acts unusually friendly toward a staff member, then it is important to ask questions and see if there is any reason for the odd behavior.

Hazards in the person’s room

Staff members should take good care to clean up residents’ rooms. Unsafe equipment or faulty furniture can be dangerous for seniors. If the senior states that this issue has been prevalent for a while, then it is crucial to correct it before the senior trips and falls.

Remember that these signs do not automatically indicate abuse is taking place. There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation. However, anyone concerned about the potential for elder abuse should not hesitate to acquire legal assistance. 

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