It’s disheartening to find out that the care a loved one is getting in a nursing home might not meet her standards. It’s even scary to consider that it could be downright awful.
Fortunately, many indications of abuse can signify that the nursing home your loved one is it might not be giving them the best care. Being aware of the following warning signs is the first step to ensure that your family member is receiving the highest levels of safety and health that they can.
Noticeable Physical or Emotional Changes
Pay close attention to the demeanor of your loved one. It might be a concern if your family member no longer participates in their favorite hobbies, is not communicating as much, or seems to be more withdrawn than normal.
Signs of emotional abuse in nursing homes include apprehension, withdraw, or agitation. Your loved one could also experience major mood and sleep changes. Signs of physical abuse can involve bruises, skin tears, and pressure ulcers in areas that are not always seen (like the hips, upper back, or thighs).
However, these signs are only hints of possible abuse, not evidence. Sometimes, these clues can be caused by illness or disease as well, and don’t reveal anything about the quality of care.
Unresolved Problems or Vague Answers to Questions
If you get the impression that the staff is hiding something, you are right to be concerned. It could also be a bad sign if nursing home workers are reluctant to discuss your family member’s care or avoid answering your questions. There should always be an answer to questions that involve care plans, for instance.
Also, pay attention to the rate of response when your family member pushes their call light. It’s not a good sign if the caregivers are too busy to answer the phone.
Distracted, Harsh, or Not Enough Staff
While it’s not always realistic to expect a staff to always be available with a manageable workload, it could be a red flag if things always seem disorderly when you stop by. Consider whether or not staff members have good attitudes and work together to get things done or if they seem to be in bad moods most of the time.
Even mealtimes can say a lot about the level of involvement if the staff sits together and avoids bonding with the residents. Is the leadership nearby? It’s far less common for nursing homes that have active and involved leadership to have negative care practices.
Your Loved One Is Concerned and Feels Uncomfortable
Nursing homes aim to provide care and comfort, which is why it should be alarming if your family member is feeling disturbed, saddened, or depressed around a specific nursing home caregiver. Look into the matter if your family member brings up concerns, as they could be hints of neglect or abuse.
If they don’t mention any concerns, still carefully watch how they act when a caregiver is nearby. If they seem uncomfortable or anxious instead of happy, there could be a problem.