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Spotting the top signs of nursing home abuse or neglect

Placing your aging father in a nursing home may take an emotional toll. Finding a place that fits your needs and budget adds to the anxiousness. However, even in the best care facilities, things can go wrong.

Can you spot the top signs of neglect or abuse? If you begin to detect a change in your dad's health or condition, you may have good reason to believe something is wrong.

New faces among the staff

Do you recognize a majority of the staff from visit to visit? Even when you do not make it as often as you want, the staff should stay relatively intact. While turnover is normal in any business, a higher rate in care facilities may mean trouble.

Something seems off

If you notice your father's moods seem all over the place, or his musings take a very different tone than normal, it may indicate care is not adequate or is downright abusive. Emotional abuse and neglect may cause your parent's mental and physical health to decline rapidly.

The staff redirects your questions

When you feel like something is wrong and ask a staff member about it, you should get an appropriate response. If you feel like you get put off, or if you get passed from one worker to another, you may want to dig deeper. A nursing home that does not address your concerns for your parent's health may wind up not adequately caring for him.

Unexplained bruises and sores

One of the top physical signs of abuse or neglect is bruises. Bruising in older people occurs more frequently because their skin is thinner and more susceptible. However, if you notice that bruises seem excessive, ask the staff for answers. Bed sores indicate your father may not get moved enough to keep blood from pooling.

You want your parents to receive the best care possible. While all nursing homes purport to give that level of care, some fall short. Paying attention to the staff's behavior and your aging parent's behavior and appearance may help identify a poor environment.

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