The “sandwich” generation is the new term coined for persons who are taking care of their children and their elder parents at the same time and typically in the same home. It has become a very common family scenario in America. Adding to an already stressful situation is realizing that a parent needs more care than you are able to provide and a nursing home is unavoidable. Unfortunately with so many nursing home neglect and abuse cases in the news, it’s hard not to worry about accidents and abuse happening while your loved one is under someone else’s care.
There are many types of injuries that can occur in a nursing home with falling being the most frequent. Unfortunately, there are also injuries that are due to neglect or abuse by those working at the nursing home. If your parent becomes injured and you believe it was not the result of an accident, there are signs you can look for to determine if they are being abused.
Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Injuries to a patient who is confined to bed
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Head injuries
- Severe infections
- Unexplained bruises and cuts
In addition to the visible signs of abuse, you may also notice changes in their mental state.
Some of the most commonly reported non-physical signs include:
- Sudden withdrawal
- Noticeable agitation or being constantly upset
- Refusal to speak around staff members
- Suddenly going into isolation
- Unexplainable and sudden fears
- Unusual behavior like biting or rocking
Some changes in behavior are to be expected with their change in location and routine, but, sudden or unexplainable changes should be cause for concern. Document the behavior and injuries you see. Try to speak to your parent alone about what you are seeing. Always address your concerns with the nurses and staff in charge. If at any time your parent suffers injuries requiring emergency medical treatment like broken bones, or frequent illness, there is cause for alarm.
If you believe your loved one has suffered a nursing home injury or abuse, remove them immediately. Contact the authorities to report situation, and contact legal help with experience in nursing home cases.