Reporting abuse is never a small consideration. In some cases, families that have a suspicion that nursing home abuse is going on will hesitate to report it. This is completely understandable and it is not a weakness. Just as a thief assumes that everyone else steals, good people assume that everyone else is generally good.
You have to follow your instincts, even if they do lead you to a very bad place.
Finding the Signs
For the sake of simplicity, you can break up the types of nursing home abuse into two broad categories: physical and psychological. If you suspect that physical abuse is going on, schedule a visit from your loved one’s physician. Physicians are excellent at detecting the signs of abuse. A good physician will notice when something seems out of place. For example, a minor pressure sore may mean that a patient is simply not moving around as much as they did before on their own and that they need to be moved more often. A very severe pressure sore is usually a sign of neglect. A physician will know the difference.
Psychologically, the main thing to look for is a change in personality without any reason behind it. Of course, when you’re dealing with people of an advanced age, mental function tends to decline and some shift in personality is to be expected. Radical changes in personality in an otherwise mentally healthy individual, however, should be considered signs that something is going wrong at the facility. Be particularly wary for signs that your loved one is specifically frightened of one of the workers. That worker may be the one who is abusing them.
Making the Report
If you know it’s going on, you need to report nursing home abuse to regulatory agencies right away. If your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, there is a very good chance that other people in that same facility are victims, as well. If you don’t do anything, the abuse is likely to get worse.
After the abuse has been put to a stop and after your loved one has been transferred to a more suitable facility, contact a lawyer. A good nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to help you go after the negligent facility with a lawsuit and may end up being able to win you compensation that can help pay for the medical care and expenses your loved one has endured due to the negligent behavior of the former nursing home.