Being able to spot the signs of potential elderly abuse and neglect within a nursing home setting is key to feeling secure about transitioning an elderly loved one into a nursing home. Without prior knowledge of what might suggest abuse, however, doing so can become an overwhelming, difficult task. To keep your mind at ease, and to ensure your loved one is protected, here are seven key signs that your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse in Illinois:
Malnutrition is an incredibly dangerous condition for people of advanced age. Due to this, nursing home staff are trained to ensure their residents are getting enough food and nutrition to remain healthy. For this reason, noticeable malnutrition can be seen as a telltale sign of potential elder abuse or neglect in Illinois nursing homes. Looking over the dietary plan of your elderly loved one, if you find that they are suffering from malnutrition, is highly recommended, as this can help you to reverse the issue and determine if any foul play is involved in the situation. To help keep your elderly loved one in shape, it can be useful to ensure they are following simple, healthy daily habits.
2. Reluctant Communication with Staff
Have you noticed that your loved one suddenly becomes quiet or hesitant to communicate clearly when nursing home staff is nearby? This can be one of the most serious signs that they are being abused or neglected by the staff that’s meant to be taking care of them. Be sure to find time to talk to your loved one privately, and out of earshot of potential eavesdroppers, about their hesitancy around staff members if you notice this habit developing. Doing so can help you cut off any potential abuse or neglect early on.
3. A Desire to be Isolated
If your loved one is typically social, but suddenly becomes more of an isolationist, something could be wrong. Especially if the isolation is combined with any of the other telltale signs on this list, your elderly loved one may be experiencing some form of elderly abuse or neglect within their nursing home. Communicating effectively with your loved ones can become difficult once they enter this anti-social mindset, but it’s of utmost importance that you take the sudden behavioral change seriously. To help keep your elderly loved one in a healthy mental state, visiting them frequently is highly recommended.
Infections can be dangerous for people of advanced age, as their bodies have a much harder time fighting off and healing from infections. Once again, nursing home staff have been trained to keep spaces clean and safe from infection hazards, so if infections are still occurring, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. While it may not be purposeful abuse or neglect, in this case, stepping in to be a voice of support for your elderly loved one is key here, as it will help you get their living space back into a clean, infection-hazard-free state.
5. Rapid Weight Loss
Sudden, rapid weight loss is never a good sign for an individual’s health. For elderly individuals, the rapid weight loss can even make it difficult for them to get through daily life in a happy, healthy fashion. In terms of abuse and neglect, rapid weight loss can be an underlying side effect of mental or physical distress. To help your loved one get back to a healthy weight, and to ensure they are not being abused behind the scenes, you should inquire about the cause of the rapid weight loss with them in a private setting.
6. Unexplained Injury or Death
Anytime an unexplained injury or death occurs in a nursing home, an investigation into the incident should occur. Not only will this help ensure that the incident does not repeat, but it can uncover any potential neglect or abuse that might have contributed to the injury/death. If your loved one is involved in an unexplained death or injury inside of their nursing home, you should get a hold of a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer in Illinois immediately.
7. Fractures and Falls
Falls and fractures can be devastating for elderly individuals’ health. Because falls and fractures are more common in the elderly, nursing homes need to have their living spaces secured against potential fall hazards. If they fail to do so, this can qualify as potential elderly abuse or neglect and can lead to serious legal consequences.
Protect Your Elderly Loved One from Abuse and Neglect in 2022
By looking out for these seven signs of potential elderly abuse, you can more effectively protect your elderly loved one from abuse and neglect in 2022. Doing so will allow them to lead a happy, fulfilling life in their care facility, and will ensure that other residents within their nursing home are kept protected as well.