If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility in Orange County, you may be wondering about the first signs that could point to abuse or neglect. Depending upon the type of elder abuse or neglect, it can be extremely difficult to identify early warning signs, especially when those signs and symptoms do not include obvious physical harm. Given that there are so many different types of nursing home abuse and neglect that can result in injury and even death, it is important to understand that early warning signs are not always the same, and anything that seems different or suspicious should be treated seriously. Indeed, any unexplained changes in an elderly loved one, including changes in personality or demeanor, as well as indications of infection, warrant further consideration. Our Orange County nursing home abuse lawyers can explain in more detail.
Identifying Early Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect Can Be Complicated
One of the reasons that elder abuse or neglect can persist is that family members of the elderly person do not immediately recognize signs of symptoms of abuse. According to an article from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health, it is critical to know that elder abuse can affect any older adult, and it can occur in nearly any location — from nursing homes with histories of abuse to state-of-the-art facilities that do not appear to have any outward indicators of problems.
Signs of abuse and neglect can be difficult to spot, according to the article, because of the varied signs and symptoms that tend to accompany the very different types of abuse or neglect that can occur.
Know How to Spot Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Being able to spot early warning signs of nursing home abuse or neglect means knowing about the distinct types of abuse that can occur in facilities and understanding the different symptoms. The U.S. Department of Justice cites the following as the common forms of abuse that can occur, along with specific signs and symptoms:
- Physical abuse, which often results in bruises, welts, lacerations, fractures, wounds, cuts, untreated injuries, sprains, dislocations, internal bleeding, signs of restraint, medical findings of overmedication, changes in a nursing home resident’s behavior, or reports of physical abuse from a nursing home resident;
- Emotional or psychological abuse, which often results in signs that can include agitation, upset, changes in emotional behavior or response, signs of being very withdrawn, any unusual behaviors, changes in sleeping patterns, changes in eating patterns, depression, anxiety, excessive apologizing, or reports of emotional or psychological abuse;
- Neglect or abandonment, which is not often intentional and can result in signs or symptoms that may include dehydration, malnutrition, bed sores, poor hygiene, untreated medical or health issues, and unsanitary living conditions; and
- Sexual abuse, which can involve bruising around the breasts or the resident’s genital area, unexplained infections, unexplained bleeding, changes in behavior, and reports of sexual abuse or assault.
The U.S. Department of Justice lists common signs and symptoms that do show overlap among some types of abuse, as well as distinct symptoms for particular kinds of abuse or neglect. In general, if you see any changes in a senior’s behavior or any signs that concern you, it is important to seek help.
Contact an Orange County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you have any worries about a senior’s health or safety, a nursing home abuse attorney in Orange County at our firm can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today.
See Related Blog Posts:
Harm to Dignity in Los Angeles County Nursing Homes
Your Guide to a Nursing Home Abuse Claim in Orange County