If your mother or father currently resides in a New York assisted living or nursing facility, you probably worry about him or her from time to time. It's only natural, especially if you're not able to visit as often as you'd like. No amount of research or investigation can alleviate 100 percent of your worries, and while no nursing home or medical facility is perfect, you should be able to reasonably expect that all staff members have your parent's best interests at heart.
There are strict protocols and regulations regarding resident or patient safety in such homes. Sadly, elder abuse is problematic in many areas, and it's best to seek understanding of the laws that govern such matters and to know where to turn for immediate help if a problem arises. Keeping your loved one safe may be easier too, if you know what signs to look for regarding possible abuse.
Causes for further investigation
There are several types of elder abuse, all of which are grossly egregious and illegal. By remaining watchful and ready to act if something doesn't seem right, you may be able to help your loved one avoid a serious problem. The following list includes signs that elder abuse may be occurring:
- Repeat injuries: If your loved one keeps telling you he or she fell or bumped into something, or gives some other explanation for a bruise or mark on his or her body that keeps reoccurring, you may want to speak to a staff member about it.
- Disheveled appearance: Quality care includes helping residents with personal hygiene and appearance. If your parent always seems to be in a state of uncleanness or disarray when you visit, it's a definite sign that something might not be right.
- Unexplained injuries: If you ask your mother or father how he or she was injured and are not satisfied with the explanation, you have every right to further investigate the situation.
- Abrupt mood changes: If your loved one seems especially depressed, anxious or afraid, it may be a sign of abuse. If you notice that his or her mood changes most when a particular staff member is near, it is direct cause for you to seek additional information as to why your parent is upset.
Knowing your loved one may be suffering is one thing, being prepared to take action and knowing where to turn for support is quite another. Many New York residents who are adult children taking care of elderly parents in nursing homes overcome such problems by allowing experienced elder law attorneys to act on their behalves to file injury claims against those causing abuse. Helping a parent recover from abuse is often possible with the right assistance.