5 Signs of Elder Abuse & Neglect in Senior Care Facilities

The decision to place a loved one in a Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility is one that many of us struggle to make, but for those who decide to place their relatives in a Nursing Home do so with the understanding that their family member will be looked after and well taken care of. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and instances of elder abuse in Nursing Homes has been occurring all over the country. It is important that you be aware of how your family members are being taken care of while in a Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility.

Abuse comes in many different forms and is not always apparent, especially when you’re not there with your loved ones at all times. It is important to be aware of some signs or red flags that could indicate that your family member may be suffering from abuse/neglect. We have complied a list of potential red flags to be aware of when visiting or speaking to your loved ones living in Nursing Homes/Assisted Living Facilities.

Physical Abuse: Since elders often are unable to defend themselves, they are at an increased risk for falling victim to physical abuse. Below are a few signs to keep on the lookout for that could indicate your family member is suffering from Physical abuse:
• Bruising
• Marks/sores
• Anxiety about being left alone
• Sudden changes in mood/behavior
• Broken bones

Emotional or Psychological Abuse: When an elder suffers from emotional or psychological abuse it can be hard to tell because the signs can be so subtle. Below are a few signs to keep on the lookout for that could indicate your family member is suffering from Emotional or Psychological abuse:
• Relative has become increasingly unresponsive or withdrawn
• Showing signs of depression
• Increase in anxiety
• Showing signs of agitation or emotional turmoil
• Suicidal thoughts

Sexual Abuse: Sexual elder abuse is any unwanted touching or non-consensual sexual act with an elderly person. If an elderly resident suffers from dementia or is incapacitated and cannot give consent, this is also a form of sexual abuse. Below are a few signs to keep on the lookout for that could indicate your family member is suffering from Sexual Abuse:
• Unexplained STDs
• Bruising on private parts
• Unexplained genital infections
• Unexplained bleeding from genitals
• Reports of sexual abuse

Financial Abuse: Anytime a caregiver or institution takes money or property from an elder without consent or through fraud, this can be financial abuse. Financial Abuse of an elder is unfortunately a common occurrence. Below are a few signs to keep on the lookout for that could indicate your family member is suffering from Financial Abuse:
• Caregiver’s name suddenly appearing on bank cards or documents
• Changes to banking, estate, or other legal documents
• Unexplained ATM purchases
• Unexplained money disappearing from accounts
• Unexplained transfer of assets

Neglect: As seniors age, they can become increasingly dependent on others for their mobility. They may be unable to care for themselves or get out of harm’s way. Caregivers have a responsibility to care for these patients and ensure that they have adequate nutrition, water, and sleep. Below are a few signs to keep on the lookout for that could indicate your family member is suffering from Neglect:
• Unsanitary living conditions
• Untreated bed sores
• Malnutrition/dehydration
• Foul Odor or smells
• Failure to take essential medications

We’re There When You Need Us
If you begin to suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important to speak to an experienced Colorado nursing home abuse attorney quickly. Your attorney will be able to protect your loved one from further abuse and hold the negligent nursing home accountable. At McDivitt Law Firm, we have offices conveniently located throughout Greater Colorado. With offices in Downtown Colorado Springs, North Colorado Springs, Denver, Aurora, and Pueblo, our attorneys are ready to assist you in a moment’s notice.

Contact the McDivitt Law Firm nursing home neglect lawyers today at Colorado Springs 720-706-3119, Denver 303-426-4878, or Pueblo 719-416-5587. We offer free consultations, so you can better understand your rights and options. Call us today!

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