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Medicare and Nursing Homes | Signs of Elder Abuse

medicare and nursing homesIs your loved one being cared for by somebody else? Whether it’s a family member, in-home nurse, or skilled nursing facility, they have an obligation to treat your loved one with dignity and to provide a safe environment for him or her. Medicare and nursing homes both aim to prevent abuse of the elderly in skilled nursing settings. Elder abuse by caregivers is not prevalent, but it can happen in the wrong setting or with the wrong support. Sadly, your loved one may not be able to tell you that he or she is being mistreated. Keep an eye out for these warning signs:

  1. There are injuries of unknown origin. If you notice bruises, welts, cuts, or scrapes and the caregiver or facility can’t explain where they came from, there may be mistreatment occurring. In many cases, the cause is a rough caregiver. The facility should have notified you when the injury was noted and conducted an investigation. Request an investigation of any injury of unknown origin if it hasn’t already been completed.
  2. Your loved one is increasingly withdrawn. If your loved one seems to be increasingly withdrawn over time, don’t rule out abuse or neglect. In some cases, there may be health reasons for the change, but it rare cases, it may be the result of mistreatment by a caregiver.
  3. There are bed sores developing. When properly cared for, your loved one should be repositioned frequently to prevent the development of pressure ulcers. However, even with the best care, skin breakdown can sometimes occur in bony areas or in patients with diabetes or poor circulation who are bound to a wheelchair or bed. However, if your loved one is developing multiple bed sores, ongoing bed sores, or significantly severe bed sores, you should request an investigation.
  4. The caregiver doesn’t allow visitors. If you arrive to visit your loved one, and the caregiver seems to have an explanation regarding why it’s not a good time every time, it may indicate abuse or neglect.
  5. Your loved one is losing weight or malnourished. While weight loss can happen naturally with age and illness, unusual or expected weight loss can be an indicator of abuse or neglect. Ask for more detailed information regarding the measures being taken to combat weight loss and support health.

To learn more about safe, compassionate elder care, Medicare and nursing homes in Arizona, stop into one of our valley-wide Santé locations today.

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