Most residents of nursing homes are elderly individuals who may suffer from other health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. An inability to communicate or express thoughts and emotions can cause behavior that might be perceived as disruptive, dangerous or inappropriate. Other changes, such as failure to eat, appearing withdrawn, or crying excessively may be exhibited. In some cases, behavioral changes, such as fearfulness, lack of interest, agitation, or withdrawal, are signs of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Abuse That May Cause Changes in Behavior
When You Notice Changes in Behavior
Elderly individuals residing in nursing homes may feel embarrassed and greatly distressed when emotional or physical abuse occurs. However, getting your loved one to talk about the suspected abuse may not be easy. In some cases, the abuser may threaten the resident with retaliation. In other cases, the resident may be embarrassed to admit the abuse occurred. Sometimes, the resident is not able to accurately describe what has taken place, or may not realize they are the victim of abuse.
If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, there are steps you can take:
- Talk with your loved one’s caregivers. Observe how they interact with the resident. Ask questions, noting their responses and body language. Are they caring or disrespectful?
- Talk to your loved one’s roommate or other residents too. They can often be a great source of information
- If you can arrange your schedule, plan to visit your loved one at unexpected times of day to get a better sense of treatment
- Listen attentively to caregivers’ conversations taking place around you
Most importantly, if you suspect nursing home abuse has occurred, contact the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Cullan & Cullan in Phoenix, Arizona by calling (602) 786-8860.