Less Obvious Signs Of Elder Abuse

Posted on: 29 December 2014

If your loved one is in a nursing home, you might think that everything is going as it should if you don't notice any visible signs of abuse. For the most part, these facilities are wonderful with residents. However, there are situations when abuse happens, and it may not be obvious to you. This guide explains the red flags of elder abuse in nursing homes that don't show up as bruises, constant illnesses or poor hygiene.

Strange Behavior

If your loved one suddenly behaves in ways that seem strange to you, consult with facility management. It could be a situation where your relative's diet is not the proper one, or it could very well mean that they are neglected or some sort of abuse is taking place. Some of the behaviors to watch out for include:

  • clinginess when you try to leave during a visit
  • crying or whining without giving a reason when you visit
  • baby-type talk

Missing Personal Items

If your relative complains that some of their personal belongings are missing, search around the room yourself. If there are items missing, contact the administrators immediately. There may be a good reason for the staff to remove the items, but it is more likely that some sort of emotional abuse is happening.

Workers may take items away from patients in nursing homes as a form of punishment, without intent to abuse. However, even when used as punishment, an elderly person can feel emotionally abused. At their age, they don't feel they need to be punished. If this type of behavior from the staff continues, consult a nursing home abuse attorney right away.

Unusual Financial Transactions

Most nursing homes don't allow many staff members to have access to the residents' personal information. However, that doesn't mean that someone can't hack the computer system, or convince your relative to turn over a portion of their assets to them, even in small amounts at a time.

Get to know everything about your relative's accounts and assets before you settle them into a nursing home. Make it a point to hold on to copies of all statements. Keep a close eye on your loved one's financial accounts by checking them once a week.

If you feel safer in doing so, go ahead and attach your name to all your loved one's financial documents before admitting them to the nursing home. The goal is to ensure that all transactions require your signature as well. Crooks have a more difficult time getting their hands on your relative's money and assets if they have more hoops to jump through.

Keep an eye out for these not-so-obvious signs of abuse and speak with the facility administrators if you suspect something nefarious. Consult with an attorney if your efforts to resolve the situation with the administrators prove fruitless.