What to Look for When You Suspect Your Loved One is Being Abused
Studies indicate that as many as one of every four residents in nursing homes across the country experience some form of physical abuse during their stay. Officials say the situation may be even more serious, as many instances of neglect and abuse don’t get reported. So how can you monitor the care of a loved one, so that you catch any potential abuse early and minimize the impact? Here are some of the telltale signs that an elder or nursing home resident is being exploited, neglected or abused.
- Physical abuse—Obviously, if the resident/patient has unexplained injuries, from cuts and bruises to sprains, dislocations or fractures, that may be a sign of physical abuse. If the person(s) caring for your loved one won’t let you visit without supervision, they may be trying to prevent disclosure of abuse. Broken eyeglass or signs of restraint are also key indicators.
- Neglect—One of the most common symptoms of neglect is bedsores, or decubitis ulcers, caused by leaving the patient bed-ridden in the same position for prolonged periods of time. Any unexpected weight loss, or repeated requests for water or hydration can also be indications of neglect. Wearing the same clothes at consecutive visits, poor hygiene and unsafe living conditions are all examples of neglect.
- Emotional abuse—Look for behaviors that are indicative of dementia or fear, including thumb sucking, rocking back and forth, mumbling or talking to self
- Sexual abuse—Unfortunately, there are individuals who will prey on defenseless seniors for sexual favors. A sure sign is an unexplained genital infection or sexually transmitted disease. Look also for bleeding or bruising on private parts of the body, or stained or torn undergarments.
Contact Gregg A. Wisotsky, Partner at Javerbaum, Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, PC
I offer a free phone consultation to every prospective client. For a complimentary evaluation of your case, contact my office online or call me at 973-241-7468. I will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. All major credit cards are accepted.