As your loved one ages, he or she may have to rely on others to care for them. The decision for aging adults to move to a nursing or assisted living facility can be a difficult one. Unfortunately, some adults become victims of abuse or negligence by their caregivers.
If your loved one underwent abuse or neglect, you may not know right away. According to WebMD, older adults become ashamed or afraid to talk about it. There are some signs to look for if you suspect neglect.
What is neglect?
Neglect occurs when a caregiver ignores an older person’s needs. For example, he or she may not receive medication, housing, clothing or receive the help he or she needs. In a nursing home, caregivers have a standard of care to abide by and if they do not, it is neglect.
What are the signs of neglect?
When you visit your loved one, look at his or her clothes. Are they dirty or ill-fitting? Is his or her hair messy or unwashed? These are often the first signs of neglect. When caregivers ignore hygiene, patients may also develop skin rashes.
The caregiver has an obligation to ensure that your loved one receives all of his or her medication and medical devices. If you notice that your family member no longer has his or her hearing aids, glasses, walkers or dentures, it could be because of neglect.
If you witness any signs of elder abuse or neglect, you should report your findings as soon as possible. Nursing home neglect can become life-threatening and every speaking up could make a difference in your loved one’s life.