Helping your elderly loved one transition to life in a nursing home is an experience that typically evokes mixed emotions. On one hand, you might feel relieved that care will be available for your family member around the clock. On the other hand, however, you might be worried about the quality of that care, especially if you have heard or read stories about California nursing home abuse. It would be wonderful to be able to say that such incidents are rare.
If even one instance of nursing home abuse occurs, it is one too many. You can’t be with your loved one 24/7, hence the need for him or her to live in a nursing home. You should be able to leave the facility, trusting that all staff members will provide quality care in accordance with state laws and accepted safety standards of the industry. There are three specific symptoms that should cause you concern if you notice these issues when visiting or corresponding with your loved one.
Fear or anxiety can signify nursing home abuse
If you were to visit your loved one in a California nursing home on multiple occasions, you would begin to get a good feel for the place, maybe even get to know some of the staff members. Elderly people are often hesitant to report abuse. If you notice that your loved one appears agitated, stressed or afraid when a particular staff member enters the room, this is a red flag alert that something could be wrong, not excluding nursing home abuse.
Malnutrition and dehydration suggest nursing home abuse
If a nursing home staff member is abusing your loved one, he or she might threaten the patient by denying food or water. This is also a means of coercion, meaning that your loved one might receive a “bribe” to do certain things to “earn a reward” of food or water. Many elderly people have fluctuating eating habits. If, however, your family member appears malnourished or is always complaining of hunger or thirst, it is definitely cause for concern.
No injury should be left unexplained
As human beings age, their bodies change. It is not uncommon for people to bruise easily or to have trouble healing as they get older. Your loved one should never have an unexplained injury, though. If you notice bruises, lacerations, red marks or any other injury on his or her body, a staff member should be able to provide a sufficient explanation.
If you’re not satisfied with the answers given to you when you inquire about an injury on your loved one’s body, do not hesitate to further investigate the situation, even if you feel compelled to seek outside support, such as law enforcement or legal advocates. Your loved one’s safety or life could be at risk. There is no excuse for nursing home abuse in California or any other state, and those who commit such crimes can be held accountable.