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How to talk to a loved one about nursing home abuse

There are numerous signs of nursing home abuse to watch out for when you have a loved one in an assisted care facility. Some of the more obvious signs include poor hygiene, bruising or open wounds, but it is also critical to look out for changes in behavior and emotional withdrawal. 

These signs can indicate nursing home neglect or abuse, but the only way you can really be certain is if the person outright says staff members at the residence are abusive. This can be a difficult conversation to have. You do not want to put a loved one in an uncomfortable position, so here are some ways to approach the subject gently. 

Bring up the subject cautiously

Do not dive right into the subject of abuse. Instead, ask something such as, "Do you like it here at this nursing home?" If your loved one has a physical symptom, such as a bruise, then you can ask about that, too. Once you have broached the subject, you can get into more direct questions. 

Listen instead of reacting

In the event your loved one begins speaking directly about neglect or abuse, the most important thing you can do is to listen. Do not interrupt or else your family member may feel as though you do not really care. You also want to avoid getting too emotional. The last thing you want is your loved one assuming he or she did something wrong. 

Contact an attorney

Your loved one may be incapable of seeking damages independently. Therefore, it may be up to you to get in touch with a lawyer to handle the case. An attorney will know how to go about these cases cautiously. An attorney will also be better capable of ensuring the staff members causing the abuse do not do any additional harm while the investigation is underway. Act quickly so you can give your loved one better care sooner. 

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