Placing your loved one within a care home and leaving their care and needs in the hands of qualified strangers is not a decision that is taken lightly. It can take months of careful planning and research to ensure that you’ve found the right care home for your loved one and to ensure that the transition goes ahead as smoothly and as stress-free as possible.
But, what happens when things start to go wrong? When did you start noticing little changes in your loved one? Are they just getting older, a little more unstable and forgetful or is it something more sinister? Click the link for a list of nursing home injuries. Those niggling doubts and concerns in the back of your mind should never be ignored, despite what their carers tell you.
You know your loved one the best, so maybe it’s time to take action? If you’re concerned about elder abuse, read on for the warning signs you should know.
You may think that it would be easy to spot physical abuse, however, if you’re being told their injuries are the result of a fall, would you question it? Looking beyond the injuries might give you a clearer insight into what is really happening. Look out for any of the following issues:
- They recoil at being touched
- They seem frightened and nervous around carers
- You can see signs of restraint on their wrists or even arms and ankles
- Unexplained welts, scarring and other injuries
- Their carers won’t leave you alone with them
Just because there are no physical signs of abuse, it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Sudden changes in your loved one’s behaviour could be connected to emotional trauma or abuse.
- A sudden change in personality (not illness-related)
- Irritable, stressed, snappy and jumpy
- Unexplained crying and distress
- Fearful of carers
- Constantly apologetic
Sometimes elder abuse isn’t always intentional. Poorly run facilities and staff shortages often mean residents bear the brunt of the problems.
- Loved one is unclean and unkept
- Nails and hair are overgrown
- Wearing dirty/soiled clothing or bed linen
- Rooms are dirty and hazardous
Due to their age and vulnerability, many elderly people are at risk of financial exploitation:
- Missing cash or change from their purse/room
- Missing valuable items such as jewellery or trinkets
- Unusual direct debits appearing on accounts
- Sudden changes in power of attorney
- Unexplained cash withdrawals and no sign of the cash