Choosing the right nursing home or retirement community can be a stressful process, but make no mistake, it’s extremely important you and your loved ones make an informed decision. Make sure to do your research, as these will be the people that care for your loved one properly.
But the reality is that there are nursing homes and professional caregivers that mistreat patients. The elderly can be taken advantage of, and as relatives, it’s important you know the warning signs of potential abuse.
If your loved one shows any of the following symptoms, investigate the situation immediately.
The following are possible signs of emotional abuse in elderly patients:
- Depressed and withdrawn
- Excessively afraid and anxious
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Agitated and frustrated
- Unable to make decisions
- Have a loss of interest and enthusiasm
- Suffer insomnia or lack of sleep
- Visible weight loss and malnutrition
- Refuse to see or talk to others
- Refuse to eat, drink, or take medication
- Exhibit strange behavior such as sucking, biting, or rocking
- Avoid eye contact
- Have low energy, physical activity, and responsiveness
Remember: showing several of the above signs on their own does not necessarily mean abuse is taking place. They could also be signs of dementia or mental illness. But if your loved one’s behavior changes when a caregiver is present, take it seriously and find out what’s going on.
Behavior warning signs a patient will show:
- Nervous or cowering in the presence of the abuser
- Atmosphere of tension when both people are together
- Changes in mood when abuser enters the room
- Is not being given basic hygiene or care
Behavior warning signs an abuser will show:
- Refuses to let loved ones see or talk to patient alone
- Isolates the patient from family and other residents
- Gives contradictory statements about patient’s behavior or injury
- Treats the elderly patient like a child
If you’re worried about potential abuse, contact a nursing home neglect lawyer today.