How To Protect Your Loved Ones From Nursing Home Abuse 

March 14 , 2023 | Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Preventing a loved one from being abused in a nursing home should not be something to worry about. Unfortunately, however, nursing home abuse and neglect happen. A study of 2,000 nursing home residents found that 44% claimed they had been abused. However, there are vital steps you can take to help ensure abuse and neglect never affect your loved one in a nursing home. If you suspect your loved one has been abused, please speak to our Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorneys at Martin Law Office, S.C. today.

Know Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect

It is not always easy to know the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect; not every abusive situation involves physical injuries. However, if you see any of the following symptoms in your loved one, follow up with management immediately:

  • Dehydration and malnutrition: Look for sudden weight changes and weakness, which can be signs of improper nutrition.
  • Poor hygiene: If he is not clean and appropriately dressed, there could be abuse and neglect.
  • Unsanitary living conditions: Note if their bed, bathroom, or room is dirty.
  • Significant psychological changes: Is your loved one suddenly anxious, depressed, or afraid of a caregiver?

Visit The Nursing Home Personally

Reading about a nursing home online is a good beginning, but it is always best to have a personal tour of the facility you are thinking about for your relative. Walk through the hallways, common areas, and patient rooms, and watch how the nursing home staff and residents interact.

Caregivers and managers should be willing to answer your questions. If the nursing home residents look content, well-groomed, and healthy, these are good signs. You should visit your loved one after they move in, and when you do, retake a walk around the facility and see if everything is still going well.

Choose A Local Nursing Home

It is usually preferable to select a nursing home near your home. This makes visiting and seeing how your loved one is doing simpler. It also will make your relative feel less isolated, a common issue when seniors live apart from family.

If the senior gets sick or is injured, living near the nursing home allows you to get there quickly and be involved. Living nearby also means you can visit more often and keep tabs on the quality of care your loved one receives.

Watch For Red Flags

Always keep a close eye on your senior during your visits. Observe their personality, moods, sleeping patterns, and eating habits. If you notice any changes, investigate. If your relative acts anxious, depressed, lethargic, or afraid, these red flags require immediate action.

Never be shy about asking your loved one if someone or something in the facility makes them uncomfortable. However, remember they could be afraid to say something because they fear retribution.

Furthermore, watch for sudden, unexpected withdrawals from their financial accounts. It is usually best to appoint someone in the family as power of attorney and set up a system where they must approve financial transactions from the senior’s accounts.

Do Video Calls

Regular visits are essential, but video calls are the next best thing when you cannot get there. A video conversation with your senior allows you to see facial expressions and body language when they converse. If something is off, you can pick up clues during video conversation. In addition, your loved one will feel reassured by seeing your face and speaking to you directly.

Get To Know The Caregivers

When you visit the nursing home, get to know the people who care for your relative. You should also meet the managers of where your relative lives. Talk to the caregivers about your relative’s care plan and ask questions.

Note Their Living Conditions

When visiting the nursing home, see the conditions in which your loved one lives. Look for clues that something may be off, such as poor hygiene, bruises, cuts, bedsores, and unexplained injuries.

Pay attention to how caregivers respond when you ask questions about poor conditions. If they are dismissive, hostile, or defensive, these are signs that nursing home abuse could be occurring.

Know Who To Speak With

If you notice signs of neglect and abuse, you should know who to talk to in the nursing home. For starters, speak to the facility manager that handles your relative’s floor or section. They should have the best idea of who is caring for your senior and can investigate the matter in detail.

If you do not get the desired results from the facility manager, move up the chain of command. The nursing home should have a formal complaint process in place that you should use if an issue persists. If you need to change the situation, speak to the nursing home administrator. You also can file a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Visit At Different Times

Visiting your loved one in the nursing home is essential for their emotional health and well-being and for keeping family ties. But if you always see the facility at the same time on the same day, it is easier for staff members to hide signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. After all, they know when you are coming and can quickly clean up your senior’s room and appearance.

Visiting at different times also makes it harder for subpar staff to abuse and neglect your loved one because they never know when you are coming. However, if you see signs of abuse, speak to the manager immediately and call a Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorney.

Contact Our Wisconsin Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Your loved one entered a nursing home thinking they would be adequately cared for in their older years, but it turned out that they were abused and neglected by their caregivers. Neither you nor your loved one needs to tolerate this situation. Instead, contact our Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorneys at Martin Law Office, S.C. for legal assistance.