When your loved one can no longer take care of their own basic needs, and you can no longer be their caregiver, sometimes the most logical choice is to admit the elderly loved one to a nursing home facility. As convenient as it is to have the option, this change will not come without a great amount of emotion and despair on behalf of your family member. This can be quite the trying transition because your elderly relative can feel like they are leaving behind everything they have known life to be; giving up any sense of their own freedom.
With such a drastic change in the overall emotional state of your relative, it can be difficult to determine the difference between normal reactions and signs that abuse is taking place when you are not around. There are a few good indicators that you should be on the lookout for to help you see the difference.
Showing Fear When You Leave
In the first few weeks, and in some cases even longer, the new nursing home resident may become extremely attached to their visitors. This type of behavior should be expected, but only to an extent. Your family member may ask you not to leave or show emotion when you mention that you have to go. However, if you see that there is an extreme amount of distress or emotion, this could be a bad indication. Your loved one may show signs of fear of being left at the facility or become overtly clingy and concerned about how long it will be before your will return.
Extreme Changes in Behavior or Attitude
The normal response from your loved one after the initial transition can be a change in their attitude toward you. They may show signs of resentment or even withdraw from some types of social behavior, such as normal conversation or being involved with family happenings. However, there is a fine line between normal changes in behavior and those that should be a cause for concern. If you start to notice an extreme change that lasts for more than a few days, if your loved one stops communicating, or their emotional state worsens in a short amount of time, abuse could be apparent in the nursing home.
It can be difficult to entrust the life of someone you love with people that you do not know personally. However, most nursing home personnel are fully capable and well-trained in their position. In rare cases, the wrong individual can make the experience a very difficult one to go through for your elderly loved one. If you suspect your loved one is being abused, it is imperative to take immediate action and contact a nursing home abuse attorney, such as The Jaklitsch Law Group.