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Subtle warning signs of nursing home abuse

Many people with loved ones in Nevada nursing homes know that unexplained bruises, bedsores or other visible wounds could be a sign of abuse or neglect. According to U.S. News & World Report, there are plenty of other signals that staff is not providing the care that residents need

When one employee is expected to do the job of several, it can create significant stress and lead to depression and burnout. When that worker is dealing with dementia patients or other residents who may have difficulties with self-care, stress, depression and burnout could lead to abuse. There could be potentially dangerous staffing issues if the following are true:

  • Chaotic atmosphere
  • Irritable or angry employees
  • High turnover

It could also indicate a problem if phones are constantly ringing but not answered, or if staff does not appear to have time to answer resident call signals.

HelpGuide.org explains that another nonphysical nursing home danger is emotional abuse. Symptoms of psychological distress that often arise as a result could include behaviors such as mumbling, rocking and other symptoms that seem similar to dementia. Any significant personality or behavior changes could be warning signs, as well. Often, the abuse takes the form of bullying through public humiliation and ridicule or isolating and ignoring the resident. Shaming an elderly person for behaviors such as bathroom accidents or threatening him or her could also cause serious emotional trauma. 

Residents may be more likely to suffer abuse if their health care places many demands on staff, or if they tend to be verbally or physically aggressive themselves. 

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