Putting a loved one in a nursing home may be one of the most emotional decisions you can experience in life. But it is a necessary decision that will benefit your loved one and your entire family. Nursing homes are there to make sure that your loved one will get the medical attention he or she deserves, and you should not worry about issues such as abuse. Still, abuse still happens in nursing homes, and this also affects your decision whether to put your loved one in a nursing home or not.
But once your loved one is already in a nursing home, you should be the one who is assertive enough to make sure that he or she is not experiencing some form of abuse. Written below are the signs you should look out for, to determine whether your loved one is experiencing abuse in the nursing home.
Physical evidence is the easiest to see, because you cannot deny it and it is already in front of you. If your loved one has unexplained bruises, lacerations, wounds, or any kind of injuries, be cautious. Always ask your loved one or the medical staff where the injury has been sustained, and you can judge from there whether the explanation is legitimate or not.
Impatient and unprofessional medical personnel also have the tendency to use excessive force when restraining and trying to discipline elders, resulting into physical abuse. For this reason, you should also look out for abrasions that have resulted from forceful restraints, such as ropes and straps.
Physical abuse can also have emotional and psychological effects to victims. If your loved one has sudden behavioral changes, like withdrawal from social interaction and unwarranted anxiety and fear, he or she may be experiencing physical abuse. If you see these behaviors, be assertive and talk to them about it. If they are not physically able to communicate, be mindful of his or her behavior when a nursing home staff is nearby, as it may be a sign that he or she is experiencing abuse from that person.
Nursing homes are supposed to be places for care and nourishment. Medical professionals know it, and that is why nursing homes have health personnel and medical facilities.
Even though other people are aware that nursing homes should be safe, you should still be the person who is making sure that your loved one is in a safe space. Be mindful of the signs of physical abuse, and don’t be afraid to step up and act once you see them.