Moving into a nursing home should be a positive change for any older person struggling in their daily life. However, sometimes the staff at the home can harm or take advantage of an elderly loved one.
Knowing how abuse happens and what signs to look out for can help anyone who is suspicious about potential issues in a nursing home.
According to the National Institute on Aging, physical harm can often happen when a staff member becomes angry and lashes out at residents who cannot defend themselves. If a visitor notices strange bruises or cuts on the limbs of their loved ones, it may be a sign of abuse happening.
Not all older people will talk about these incidents openly. They could fear what would happen if the staff hears or they may wrongly assume they deserved it.
An older person may start to keep to themselves more and talk to other people less as the abuse continues. They may not participate in group activities and could even shy away from talking with their family or friends.
When the staff comes near them, elderly residents may react fearfully or hesitantly. Sudden bursts of anger or frustration can also happen.
Abuse can also happen when the staff refuses to fix or help a resident that needs assistance. The older person may have broken glasses or constantly missing medication, along with the lack of a walker or other helpful devices.
Staying aware of what elder abuse looks like can help people who notice a change in their loved ones.