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Talking with Your Relative About Nursing Home Abuse

Wagner Reese

Many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported, either due to elderly residents’ inability to communicate effectively or due to threats or intimidation on the part of their caretakers. Learn how to speak with your elderly relative about suspected nursing home abuse in order to protect them from further harm.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

In order to identify nursing home abuse, you must first be familiar with its signs. Common warning signs of nursing home abuse include the following:

  • Has trouble sleeping

  • Seems depressed or confused

  • Loses weight for no reason

  • Displays signs of trauma, like rocking back and forth

  • Acts agitated or violent

  • Stops taking part in activities they enjoy

  • Looks messy, with unwashed hair or dirty clothes

  • Develops bed sores or other treatable conditions

If you suspect your elderly loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, try bringing up the issue with them. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to get any solid answers from your relative because they may have been intimidated into silence by their caretaker.

Asking the following questions, gently and slowly, may help bring about discussions as to what they have experienced in their nursing home:

  • “Are you being given food and baths regularly?”

  • “Are you participating in activities with other residents?”

  • “Do you ever feel threatened or intimidated by your caretaker?”

  • “Is there a caretaker in particular who has been bothering you?”

  • “Is there anything you want to mention to me that you feel you cannot bring up with anyone who works here?”

If your relative is still unresponsive to these questions, bring your concerns to the attention of the facility’s staff as soon as possible. If you directly witness abuse, contact the authorities.

At Wagner Reese, our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys can help you hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. We know nursing home abuse and neglect can have devastating effects on you and your loved ones, and we want to help you obtain justice for this heinous crime.

Contact us today at (888) 204-8440 to learn how we can assist you.

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