The holiday season is a special time that many look forward to every year. Spending time with friends and family, opening gifts, and attending holiday parties makes the holiday season special. Unfortunately, the holiday season can be a difficult and lonely time for many individuals in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Spending more time visiting your loved one at his or her nursing home or picking your loved one up to enjoy family activities can help him, or her feel loved and important.
The last thing on your mind is probably elder abuse or neglect, especially during the holiday season when many of us are busy with activities. However, when visiting your loved one or picking them up, it is vital to look for potential signs of nursing home abuse. Due to the season’s busyness, common signs of abuse and neglect may not be noticed, especially when the symptoms are not obvious.
Types of Elder Abuse That Occur in Alabama Nursing Homes
Understanding the different types of elder abuse can help you identify potential signs of abuse and neglect during this holiday season. Several types of abuse can occur — physical, psychological, and verbal. Neglect is another form of abuse that can cause serious injuries. Sexual assault is a devastating type of physical abuse that can and does occur in Alabama nursing homes. Finally, financial abuse can also occur.
Take Note of the Condition of Your Loved One’s Nursing Home
The state and condition of your loved one’s nursing home can be an indication of whether the nursing home is safe and clean. When you walk in to pick up your loved one or visit with him or her, notice your surroundings. is the front desk unstaffed? Do staff members look frazzled and unorganized? Does the nursing home have a putrid smell or look dirty and ill-maintained? If so, the signs indicate that the nursing home is not providing your loved one with a safe, well-run facility.
If staff members’ demeanor towards you and your loved one is less than professional, this indicates that they are not treating your loved one well. For example, if staff members are rude to your loved one right in front of you, there is a good chance they are engaging in even more dangerous actions when you are not there to hold them accountable. Finally, you should also take note of any problems that could result in inhumane living conditions. These problems could include faulty electrical wiring, lack of heat, fire hazards, or running water.
Look for These Common Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse
When you visit your loved one, you should analyze his or her living space. Look to see whether the room is clean, whether your loved one has clean clothes on, and whether or not your loved one has been able to get out of his or her room, if safe. You should also consider your loved one’s behavior and personality. Subtle changes in personality and behavior Can indicate signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include the following:
- Your loved one has not been bathed or has been left dirty
- There have been unexplained changes in your loved one’s financial situation
- Your loved one has experienced unusual dehydration or weight loss
- You notice bruising near the breast or genitals, or stained or torn underwear
- Unexplained genital infections or STDs
- Unexplained and unusual behavior such as thumb sucking, rocking back and forth, or mumbling
- Your loved one’s caregiver refuses to leave you alone with your loved one
- Your loved one is experiencing side effects that he could explain or her not receiving the correct medication or not receiving medication on time
- You see scars, wealth, bruising, or other injuries on your loved one’s body
- Unexplained dislocations, sprains, or broken bones
- Your loved one has had an unusual number of falls out of his or her bed or wheelchair
- Signs of restraint, such as bruises or rope marks on your loved one’s wrists
Schedule a Free Consultation
Alabama nursing homes are legally obligated to keep the residents safe and secure. If you notice any of the symptoms discussed above during your holiday visits, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Alabama personal injury attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis today to schedule a free case evaluation.