Too often, families aren’t equipped to offer caregiving at home. Further, choosing the right living situation for an aging loved one is among the most difficult decisions a family will make. This situation requires families to be vigilant in two areas: Choosing a reputable facility in the first place. And second, continuing to watch for potential signs of abuse once your loved one moves in.
Researching Your Options: Local Nursing Homes
Nursing homes or long-term care centers can offer vital physical, mental, and emotional support to your family member. Yet, too often, residents suffer because of insufficient staffing, lack of proper training, and other factors that may result in mistreatment.
Watch for These Signs of Abuse
Emotional and physical abuse, as well as benign neglect, do occur in nursing homes. Watch for these signs that might indicate your loved one is suffering:
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Expressing fear about being left alone with the nursing home staff
- Not answering questions about their treatment and care
- Drastic behavioral changes such as anxiety, anger, or depression
- Change in physical appearance; unexplained weight loss or poor personal hygiene
- Cleanliness concerns in any area of the nursing home
Even in the best of times, spotting elder abuse can be difficult. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more challenging because families have limited visitation. Look for ways you can monitor their situation without an in-person visit, such as through phone calls, video conferencing, and even through their window.
If you suspect that a loved one is in an abusive situation, seek help as soon as possible. Don’t delay your decision to report your concerns. And, look at other options to move your loved one to a different location.
Our team at Senior Safe and Sound is working hard to help families prevent and detect elder abuse. For additional information and support, contact us by email at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.