Abuse in a nursing home may not be immediately observable at first glance. Some residents may shy away or refuse to tell you exactly what is happening.
Knowing what signs to look for while visiting your elderly loved one can help you notice a bad situation.
According to the National Institute on Aging, an elderly person may stop going to group activities that he or she used to enjoy. This isolation often happens because of hidden emotional or physical abuse going on, which causes older people to shy away from interacting with others.
Your loved one may also appear angrier or more easily agitated than in past years when you come to visit. This sudden change in personality can leave you feeling confused and hurt. You may also notice him or her rocking back and forth in order to try to calm down.
A significant change in weight or a continually messy appearance is another sign of hidden abuse. An elderly person may begin to have unwashed hair or ripped and unclean clothing more often after abuse starts.
Since older people are often unsteady on their feet, they cannot wash or take care of their appearance without significant help. Nursing home abuse and neglect can seriously impact personal hygiene.
A facility infested with bugs, along with a lack of room lighting or cleanliness, means your loved one may be living in unsafe conditions. This can take a mental toll on him or her, as well as make it hard to stay healthy.
Missing medication or broken eyeglasses may also signal that something is wrong. The signs of nursing home abuse can vary but each one causes distress for older residents.