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Is your elderly relative’s depression a sign of nursing home abuse?

Moving into assisted living or nursing home facility can be a difficult experience. Losing the independence, mobility and liberty can cause significant depression in an elderly resident.

However, what if the sadness and withdrawal you are seeing in your elderly relative is more than just depression? What if it is a sign of something much more alarming: nursing home neglect or abuse?

Recognize the Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect

Everyone who has a mother, father or other close elderly relative in a nursing home or other elder care facility has faced the same fears: What if they do not receive adequate care? Or even worse: What if they suffer neglect or abuse in the nursing from the people who are supposed to be providing them with care.

If you have an elderly relative in assisted living, a nursing home or other care facility, it is important to recognize the signs of neglect and abuse.

  • Bruises and sores: While elders are more susceptible to bruising, broken bones and the like, unless there is a specific accident that did not involve negligence, the presence of bruising, sprains and other physical injuries can be a sure sign of neglect or abuse.
  • Decubitus ulcers: Often called “bed sores,” decubitus ulcers are blood-filled blisters, dark purple or black, in localized areas. These can only result from extended time in one position without being moved. Elder care facility staff should know that they are supposed to move patients with regularity to avoid this type of injury. When they don’t, it is a clear sign of negligence.
  • Extreme weight changes or weakness: When they cannot be explained by a specific illness or disease, extreme weight loss or weakness and fatigue can be a sure sign of malnutrition.

If you see any of these signs or any other signs that correspond with depression and indicate the possibility of abuse or neglect, make sure you call an experienced attorney right away to protect the one you love.