The thought of a loved one not receiving top-notch care in a nursing home is terrifying, but sadly, elder abuse is all-too-common. Nursing home owner Akash Brahmbhatt is sharing his top signs to watch out for to know that something may be amiss in your loved one’s nursing home.
First, Akash Brahmbhatt says that it’s important to be aware of the difference between abuse and neglect. While both are unacceptable, there are different signs for each. Abuse is intentional, while neglect can be intentional or unintentional (and maybe the result of an understaffed care facility). Here, we’re focusing on abuse.
If you notice that your once-exuberant and excited loved one is withdrawn or doesn’t want to communicate, it may be a sign of verbal or physical abuse. Talk to your loved one’s doctor if you notice major personality changes, and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion if you’re concerned that a part of their nursing home care may be the root cause of the change.
If you notice an injury on your loved one, ask them how the injury occurred, and ask them out of the presence of staff members. Some nursing home residents may be afraid of the consequences of telling the truth about staff members, and maybe more comfortable speaking to you privately.
According to Akash Brahmbhatt, rapid weight loss or weight gain that isn’t associated with a health condition can be the result of nursing home abuse. Denying food and overfeeding can both be used as unethical methods of behavior control. If you’re concerned about your loved one’s weight, talk to them about what they usually eat, and be sure to ask their doctor about the reason behind the sudden change (and again — Akash Brahmbhatt recommends getting a second opinion if you’re not satisfied with the doctor’s answer).
While broken bones happen in elderly people sometimes, there should be a clear reason why a fracture occurred. Talk to your loved one about what happened when they incurred their injury, and be especially curious about injuries that occur after a loved one has wandered away from the nursing home, says Akash Brahmbhatt.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important parts of overall wellness, and dehydration can lead to the exacerbation of health conditions quickly. If you notice that your loved one is dehydrated, talk with them about whether they’re offered (and have access to) freshwater, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.