Parent Has Dementia And In A Nursing Home? Signs They Have Been Abused And What You Can Do
If your parent is in the later stages of dementia, they cannot communicate well with you or may not be able to at all. If they do talk, what they say may not make much sense to you. Because of this they will not have the ability to verbalize any abuse that may be going on in their nursing home. Fortunately, there are some clues that you can watch out for. You can then take steps to help with the situation so your parent can be happy.
Signs of Verbal Abuse
One type of abuse is verbal abuse. This may be harder to detect because there are no signs left on the body, such as bruising. However, if you visit your parent a lot you know their temperament and how they act and you should be able to sense something is not right.
Your parent may seem more agitated, which may cause them to mumble to themselves constantly, sit down and rock, or suck their fingers. Your parent may suddenly seem depressed and withdrawn. This sign is easy to see if they are normally happy and outgoing. You may notice when one of the staff walks in the room your parent may seem fearful of them. You may just simply get a gut feeling that something is not quite right with your parent.
Signs of Physical Abuse
Any time your parent has an accident, such as falling, the nursing home should alert you immediately. If you noticed your parent has an injury and the nursing home did not alert you about, it this is a warning sign of physical abuse.
You may see bruises that the nursing home can't explain. It could even be as bad as a sprain, broken bone, burns, or welts on their body. Look at your parent's wrists and ankles for any rope marks, as the nursing home employees may physically restrain them by tying them down if they are being unruly. If your parent wears eyeglasses, they may get broken.
Physical abuse is also not giving your parent their medications regularly. You can tell this by looking at their pill bottles and seeing how many pills are left.
What You Can Do
If you are not completely sure your parent is being verbally or physically abused visit the nursing home without any notice on a regular basis. If the nursing home staff tell you that you cannot see your parent demand that they let you. Go to their room anyway as they will not physically stop you.
If they tell you that you can't your parent likely was recently verbally or physically abused. If you are not able to visit on a regular basis, ask family members or friends to also visit. This will ensure someone always visits regularly.
Talk with the staff about your parent and see how they react. They may seem fearful of you or they may become defensive for no reason.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you determine that your parent has been abused take them out of the nursing home immediately and contact a nursing home abuse attorney. The nursing home will not admit fault and they will likely not treat your parent and you fairly.
The attorney can ensure the nursing home pays for damages. In order to do this the attorney will sue the nursing home and the matter will be taken to court. If the home is found guilty of abuse your parent will be awarded damages. The attorney will go further with the law suit and get the nursing home shut down. If your parent is being abused, this means other patients are getting abused also.
A nursing home abuse attorney, such as one found at Reed Law, can go over this information with you in more detail so you can understand how they can help you.