Caregiver Neglect and Abuse May Happen More Often During Holiday Season
With the National Center of Elder Abuse reporting as many as 5 million people affected by elder abuse per year, and more than 95 percent of which go unreported, it remains an understatement to say nursing home abuse and neglect are a growing concern. And during the busy holiday season, when there are not enough employees to take care of the needs of all the residents and care workers become easily distracted with personal activities, the incidences of abuse and neglect will sadly trend upward. It’s an important time of the year for family members and friends of those residing in long term care facilities to frequently check-in and visit with not only our loved ones but also those responsible for caring for them. Make a daily call or weekly stop this month to see that the quality of services is what you expect. Unfortunately, the result may be that many of our elderly relatives are living with care that is substandard and may even be coated with dangerous abuse and neglect symptoms. Recognize these signs provided by the Nursing Home Abuse Center and report any findings or concerns immediately.
- Having unexplained broken bones, dislocations or sprains
- Bruising, scars or welts seen on the body
- Failing to take medications properly
- Signs of restraint, such as rope marks on the elder’s wrist
- Broken eyeglasses
- The refusal of the caregiver to let you be alone with the elderly person
- Unusual behavior in the elderly person that can resemble symptoms of dementia, including mumbling behaviors, sucking one’s thumb, or rocking behaviors.
- Witnessing belittling, controlling or threatening behavior on the part of the caregiver.
- Unexplained STDs or other genital infections
- Bruising near the genitals or around the breasts
- Stained, bloody or torn underwear
- Vaginal or anal bleeding unrelated to a medical condition
- Leaving the elderly personal alone at risk of wandering or elopement
- Unsafe living conditions, such as a lack of heat, faulty electrical wiring, fire hazards or lack of running water
- Being unsuitably dressed for the weather
- Not bathing the person or leaving them dirty
- Living with soiled bed clothing, dirty clothes, bugs or dirty conditions
- The presence of bedsores from not turning the patient regularly
- Having an unusual loss of weight or dehydration
In addition, it is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 nursing home residents have been victims of financial abuse. It is important to understand some of the common signs of this type of incidence as well.
- Changes in financial status
- Unexplained withdrawals
- Missing money from purse, wallet or room
- Resident unable to make regular purchases
- Personal belongings that go missing
- Unauthorized names added to bank account
- Reluctance to discuss finances
- Request for additional funds
The warning signs of any type of abuse and neglect should not be ignored. Report any alarming concerns immediately and create a line of questioning stemmed from any uneasy feelings. Nursing home administrators and local ombudsmen, as well as authorities, need to act so our vulnerable loved ones will no longer be victimized.
Chicago Injury Lawyers and Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
If you feel your family member or friend is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please do not let it go unnoticed. Report it to nursing home officials, state regulatory bodies, and visit with a local nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to see what can be done.
Our consultations are always free, confidential, and handled by one of our skilled attorneys. Click here to fill out an online request form or call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872.