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Recognizing 5 common signs of elder abuse in parents

Your parents may have gone to a nursing home after a stroke, due to old age or due to a number of other factors. Regardless of the reason, you want to make sure they're taken care of appropriately. Since your parents have a hard time communicating with you, you're unsure of how to know that they're cared for. Fortunately, there are physical and emotional signs to look for that can help you identify nursing home abuse.

1. Unusual bruising or physical injuries

The first physical sign of abuse tends to be injuries. Maybe your mom fell down, or perhaps your dad has fallen for a second time. Maybe they both have cuts or unusual bruising from where the staff has been too rough with them. It's vital to recognize these signs as soon as possible, so you can stop any further abuse.

2. Complaints about yelling or being in fear

If your parents still communicate well, listen to what they say. If they seem fearful or mention a particularly cruel or rude employee, take the time to discuss this with the nursing home director. It's important to nip problems in the bud, so recognizing people who could be harmful to your loved ones is wise. If your parents can't communicate well, look for changes in their demeanor or behavior. Do they act more tearful when you leave? Are they fearful when someone comes into the room? These are sometimes negative signs of abuse.

3. Problems with hygiene

One major physical sign of abuse is when you notice your parents' hygiene diminishing. Sometimes, this is a result of a parent refusing services, but the staff should inform you if that's the case. The staff needs to take the appropriate time to help your parents bathe often, go to the restroom as needed, brush their teeth and get dressed in clean clothing each day.

4. Missing money from a parent's account

Fraudulent activities are sometimes a result of a staff member getting close to a patient and working one's way into wills or accounts. Check your parents' accounts often. If you notice unusual checks coming out or credit card charges for services not rendered, it's time to take a closer look into the people around your loved ones.

5. Missing appointment notes but bills coming in frequently

Abuse isn't always physical. Have you suddenly received many bills for appointments you don't remember planning? What about bills for services you don't remember your parents receiving? If you find that new bills come in from unrecognizable sources, the nursing facility may have put through fraudulent charges.

If you notice any of these signs of abuse, your attorney can help. With the right legal support, you can have the nursing facility answer for you r parents' suffering.

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