Common Signs of Assisted Living Abuse & Neglect That Every Family Should Know
As people age, they may need assistance with activities of daily living. Many times, this assistance is received in an assisted living facility or rehab center. While most facilities provide excellent care for residents, there are sadly often cases of abuse and neglect in facilities statewide here in Florida that we often do not hear about. In some cases, these facilities have been the subject of assisted living facility lawsuits brought by the victims and families of victims or penalized by Florida AHCA.
If you have a loved one in an assisted living facility, it is important to be mindful of the signs of abuse and neglect. This will help to keep you aware and to act if necessary. The following are some common signs of abuse and neglect in assisted living facilities to pay attention to:
- Bedsores or pressure sores
- Unexplained injuries
- Withdrawal from activities
- Fear or Anxiety
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to act right away. We suggest you hire an attorney who specializes in assisted living abuse cases, like our team here at Distasio Law Firm.
Family members are the first line of defense against abuse and neglect
Family members of a resident in an assisted living facility are the first line of defense in preventing and reporting abuse and neglect. It is important that family members visit their loved ones regularly and stay engaged in their daily routine and care. We also suggest you visit on different days and at different times to witness how staff levels and treatment may vary from day to day in lower visiting hours when less eyes are watching. During these visits, family members should be alert and aware of any signs of abuse or neglect. If something seems wrong, family members should speak with the resident and not gloss over any potential issues. Additionally, they should review the residents’ medical records to ensure they are up to date. Family members should also reach out to the facility’s staff and ask if there have been any changes in medication, diet, activities, or other needs. It is important to keep an open dialogue with staff and check in regularly.
Signs that something might be wrong
There are several common signs that a resident in an assisted living facility may be the victim of abuse or neglect. One of the most telltale signs is if the resident becomes withdrawn or isolated from their usual social circle. If a resident who was previously social and engaged suddenly stops participating in activities in the facility, this could be an indication that something is wrong. Additional signs can include changes in behavior, such as increased aggression, mood swings, or bouts of confusion. In some cases, a resident may develop physical symptoms, such as bed sores, bruises, or significant weight loss or gain. If you witness any of these, it may be cause for alarm.
Changes in behavior or appearance
If a resident in an assisted living facility has changes in their behavior or appearance that can’t be explained, it could also be a sign of abuse or neglect. If a resident begins to display signs of depression, anxiety, or agitation this could be an indication of mistreatment. It is important to also pay attention to changes in the resident’s appearance, like mentioned earlier as sudden weight loss or gain, as this could mean not enough nutrition is being provided. Additionally, if the resident has unexplained bruises or injuries, this could be a telltale sign of abuse and may be seen in their dislike of certain employees. If family members notice anything out of the ordinary with their loved one, they should act and report the issue to the facility’s staff.
Withdrawal from activities or social interaction
Another sign of abuse or neglect that family members of a resident should be cognizant of is a sudden withdrawal from activities or social interaction. If a resident who was vibrant and engaged in group activities suddenly becomes isolated, this can be an indication of poor treatment. In some cases, a resident may also refuse to leave their room and refrain from speaking with family members and staff. Withdrawal can also manifest itself in changes in appetite or refusal to eat. If the resident seems withdrawn and is no longer participating in activities, it is important to act and report the issue to ensure they are in the best health possible.
Unexplained bruises or injuries
One far too common sign of abuse or neglect in assisted living facilities is unexplained bruises or injuries. If a resident has bruises that cannot be explained by the staff or family members, this could be an indication of physical mistreatment. In some cases, the resident may be unwilling to talk about the source of the injury. Unexplained bruising or injuries should be investigated and reported to the staff immediately. It can often also be a sign of neglect, where the patient is not being looked after in a timely manner and may have fallen down when help was not available.
Sudden weight loss or gain
It’s a common topic here, where sudden weight loss or excessive weight gain can be a sign of abuse or neglect in an assisted living facility. If a resident has experienced sudden weight loss or gain, and the cause cannot be explained, it is important to speak up. This could be a sign that not enough food is being provided or that the residents are not receiving adequate nutrition, or they may not be able to feed themselves well enough and need more adequate help during mealtimes. Family members should discuss their concerns and monitor their loved one’s food intake.
Soiled clothing or bedding
Another sign of abuse or neglect in an assisted living facility is soiled clothing or bedding. In some cases, staff members may not be providing the appropriate care to keep the resident clean and comfortable. A resident who is improperly cared for may be in soiled clothing or bedding and this should be reported. Being left in soiled clothing can lead to infections which can cause more serious health risks or death.
Fear or anxiety
Fear or anxiety can also be a sign of abuse or neglect in an assisted living facility. If a resident is displaying signs of fear or anxiety, such as trembling or extreme alertness, it is important to act. In some cases, this could be due to staff members yelling or threatening the resident. It is important to investigate the root cause of the fear and to report any concerns to the staff. Reporting abuse or neglect: It is important to take reports of abuse or neglect in an assisted living facility seriously. If you have a loved one in an assisted living facility and you suspect they are being mistreated, it is important to act. You should contact the staff and report your suspicions. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire an attorney who specializes in assisted living abuse cases. An attorney can help you to determine if your suspicions are valid and to take the appropriate legal action.
Assisted living facilities can provide a safe and supportive living environment for aging adults. However, it is important to be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect. If family members notice any changes in behavior or physical appearance, they should act and report their concerns to the facility’s staff. If their suspicions are not satisfied, they should consider hiring an attorney who specializes in assisted living abuse cases. Doing so can help ensure that their loved one is getting the care and attention they need.
Contact Our Assisted Living Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been or your suspect them of being abused or neglected in an assisted living facility, speak with our dedicated nursing home abuse attorneys here at Distasio Law Firm, who can help your family get justice for your loved one’s suffering. Call us today or chat with our office using the live chat feature. All consultations are free and with zero out of pocket fees or costs. Instead, we only get paid if you win your case.