Placing a loved one in the care of a nursing home is never an easy decision. It comes with an expectation of quality care. Unfortunately, instances of abuse in nursing homes are often subtle and difficult to identify. Recognizing the warning signs is the first step toward protecting your loved one in cases such as these.
There are several indications that your loved one is experiencing psychological abuse in their nursing home.
Unexplained behavioral changes
One of the first indications of psychological abuse is an unexplained change in your loved one’s moods and behavior. They might seem withdrawn, anxious or agitated. When a previously outgoing family member becomes reserved, fearful or hesitant, it could be a cause for concern.
If your loved one starts avoiding eye contact, refuses to engage in conversations with you or distances from activities that they once enjoyed, it can indicate psychological abuse or emotional distress. They might even hesitate to communicate with you out of fear that they might say something that worsens their situation.
When you talk with the staff at your loved one’s care facility, they should provide you with consistent, detailed information. Any inconsistencies in the information you receive could indicate neglect, abuse or other wrongful treatment.
The more you understand about your loved one’s well-being, the easier it is to spot the signs of trouble. Statistics show that 10% of all Americans over age 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse. The prevalence makes it that much more important for you to recognize the signs if it happens to your loved one.