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Is my loved one being abused in a nursing home?

Nursing home abuse is a very serious matter. While you expect your loved one to be provided quality care by staff, this is not always the case. WebMD explains the common signs of nursing home abuse and how you can get help for your loved one when it occurs. 

Most residents of nursing homes need help with daily chores and tasks. In this case, it's up to the staff to provide assistance, whether it's with grooming, meal preparation, or medication administration. When this assistance is lacking your loved one may exhibit certain signs, such as an unkempt appearance, bed sores, weight loss, dirty clothing, and rashes. While neglect falls short of abuse, it can still have a massively damaging effect on a person. This is true from both a physical and psychological perspective. 

A caregiver can also abuse someone on an emotional level, which has equally devastating effects. Threats, name-calling, and even ignoring the person when he or she needs help are considered psychological abuse and can cause certain symptoms to present. For instance, your loved one may suddenly develop depression or anxiety, or act withdrawn. These issues can be exacerbated around certain staff members, and in some cases, a person may even appear frightened of specific people. If so, speak with the director of the home immediately to call attention to any changes in behavior. It's important to get to the bottom of the issue, no matter the underlying cause. 

Physical abuse is very serious, as it can cause major injuries to residents of nursing homes. Hitting, kicking, pushing, or even locking a person in their room against their will all constitute physical abuse. Your loved one may experience bruising, lacerations, or broken bones with no real explanation on how they occurred. When an explanation is provided, it often doesn't match the severity of the injuries. If you suspect your loved one is being physically abused in his or her nursing, swift action is crucial. You may also want to speak with an attorney to ensure the nursing facility is brought to justice. 

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