Having to rely on people you do not know to care for an elderly loved one can be an unnerving experience for sure. While many professional medical centers and nursing homes do an incredible job at providing your loved one with a safe place to live, there are always going to be a few bad ones in the bunch. If you suspect that your family member is not being treated well at the nursing home, it is imperative that you dig deeper to uncover the truth. Some cases will call for immediate attention from local officials, but in others, there are steps you should take before immediately causing a stir.

Make Sure You See Definitive Signs of Abuse

An older person may be visibly upset about being in a nursing home, but this does not always mean that abuse is taking place. Make sure you do not let your sympathy for their situation overwhelm your better judgement. A few of the most recognizable signs of nursing home abuse include:

  • Withdrawing from interaction with family members
  • Unexplainable bruising, cuts, or bed sores
  • Finding the loved one soiled and unkempt on a regular basis
  • Obvious signs of fear, such as begging you not to leave
  • Expressing fear when certain personnel are in the room
  • Extreme weight loss without obvious illness

If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected or abused, it is a good idea to pop in for a visit unannounced regularly. Talk to your family member and ask questions. If the nursing staff is familiar with you, send in another family member unexpected at random times.

Contact Local Officials

If you do indeed find serious evidence of nursing home abuse, contact the adult protective services in your state for help. They will assign you a caseworker and will usually send someone to the location fast to investigate claims. If severe abuse is apparent, such as major bruising or severe behavioral changes, you should get in touch with the local authorities for immediate help before contacting APS.

Seek Advice from an Attorney

Once you have your loved one safely out of an abusive nursing home situation, you should contact an attorney for further advice. In many cases, you can file a suit against the facility where your loved one was a resident. This can help you cover the costs of finding a new facility and recoup payments that were already paid to the facility in question.

Making sure your loved one is in a safe place as they age is one of the most important responsibilities you have. The Jaklitsch Law Group is a law firm in your area that specializes in nursing home abuse. Contact them for more information.