Moving an aging parent into a nursing home is often a difficult decision based on what’s best for all involved. It can also be a choice filled with worry about emotional, financial or physical abuse in your absence.
Depending on others for help with daily needs can increase one’s potential for maltreatment. Although it isn’t possible to oversee a family member’s care 24/7, educating yourself about the possible warning signs of abuse could help you protect them from afar.
What are some potential signs of elder abuse?
According to Psychology Today, a caretaker may use an elderly person’s poor physical health and memory to take advantage of them. With a watchful eye and regular communication, you may be able to avoid problems such as:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts or soreness could signify a serious issue. Some care providers may try to write off intentional injuries as accidents to curtail suspicion.
- Unclean living conditions and chronic dehydration may indicate neglect. Meanwhile, medical conditions such as malnutrition and bedsores often arise from inadequate care.
- Sudden signs of depression, fear or confusion may be a sign of mistreatment, as an abusive worker may make threats about reporting their behavior to avoid getting in trouble.
It’s natural for those who are no longer able to physically care for themselves to experience stress while relying on others. Yet, although you may not be able to control what happens in your parent’s care facility, you might minimize the chances of abuse through consistent involvement in his or her life. Should concerns of maltreatment arise, exploring your legal options may be the best way for you to provide the protection they need.