Your search for the nicest nursing home may be over; you've probably already moved a parent into their room. You might look forward to visiting and hearing all about their daily activities. However, when you finally see them, you may feel uneasy without knowing why and wonder whether they are being neglected or harmed. If you think someone has been mistreating your parent, look for these signs.
Your Parent Is Acting Strangely
It's not uncommon that your parent would be still adjusting to the facility and a little sad that they aren't living with you. However, if there are marked, drastic changes in the way they act towards you or others, that requires investigation. Do they seem fearful of shower time? Do they wince when someone touches them? Are they quieter than usual? Are they rushing you out? Odd personality changes may mean something is amiss.
You See Bruises in Various Stages
Seniors can fall and bump into things; you shouldn't immediately panic if you catch sight of a bruise and have already been contacted by the nurse who told you what happened. However, if your parent's medications don't make them a fall risk and you see multiple bruises in different healing stages or colors, pay attention.
The location of bruises is key; a bruise on a hip might be easily explained, but bruises on the inner thigh or wrists can be suspect.
They Are Getting Bed Sores
If your parent spends great amounts of time in a wheelchair or bed, an aide or nurse needs to be diligent about re-positioning or moving them to avoid pressure ulcers or bed sores. These sores develop because there's too much pressure on the same parts of their body, such as their buttocks. The skin can begin to break down with the assistance of sweat, and these sores can sometimes be very large and deep over time.
Bed sores don't always indicate abuse, but you'll need to have several discussions with staff about who is tasked with turning or moving your parent. They need to answer some questions regarding their handling of your parent's body. If your parent is able to answer questions, you should talk to them, too.
Noticing any of these things could be cause for alarm, but try not to jump to any definitive conclusions until you're able to find out what happened. You might hire nursing home abuse lawyers who can do further fact finding.