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How to Pinpoint Abuse & Neglect

By brian barrick
September 17, 2013

You may have put a family member in a care home because you want them to have the best life in their remaining years. Whether they have ailments that are either mental or physical, you would like them to be taken care of by facilities’ qualified staff. However, sometimes a staff member’s idea of hands on care differs from yours. There have been numerous reports over the years of abuse and neglect in care homes and assisted living facilities. The facility your loved one is living at may be no different. Here are some ways to pinpoint abuse and neglect at your loved one’s care home.

1. The Appearance of Scars or Bruises.
In the case of the elderly, bruising can happen rather easily. However, it could be cause for concern. A lot of caretakers are trained to be gentle with the elderly, and this could be a sign of forcefulness. Ask them where the bruises came from. It is possible the source is something innocuous, but ignoring it may gloss over possible abuse.

2. Body Language.
Older people in your family may not want to be a burden to your household, and that is why they agreed to be in an assisted living facility. If they are being abused or neglected, they may not tell you about it. However, reading someone’s body language can tell you things they may be afraid to. Keep your eye on your loved one when caretakers are near them. If they show signs of fear or discomfort, then abuse may be happening.

3. State of the Facility.
How is your loved ones living quarters? Is it dirty? Is their exceptional odor? It could be possible that the facilities are not getting regular upkeep. Some areas to look for are the bathroom. Are the toilet, sink and bathtubs clean? Are the trash cans full? Do the bed sheets look like they haven’t been changed? If you can answer yes to any or all of these, they could very well be signs of neglect.

We leave our loved ones in the care of others in hopes they get the proper care they need. However, for many, living in a care home can be a nightmare. Look for the signs, and if you see symptoms of abuse and neglect, don’t be afraid to speak up. You’ll be glad you did.

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