Unfortunately, elder abuse is more common than one may think. This is especially true during the COVID-19 Pandemic. California elderly patients who are living in a residential facility like a nursing home or assisted living facility are at risk for elder mistreatment and abuse. As a caring loved one, it’s a good idea to understand the different types of warning signs that there may be abuse going on.
Your loved one doesn’t have the same energy level
While it’s common for elderly patients to go through a period of adaptation when they first move into an assisted living facility, they should be able to physically and mentally bounce back in a reasonable amount of time. If you notice that your loved one is still showing signs of being drowsy, disoriented, or even confused more than usual, it may be a sign of medication overdosing or a lack of monitoring side effects. Your loved one should return to having the same amount of energy and problem-solving skills that they had before entering the facility.
More difficulty getting around
The whole point of an assisted living facility is to help the elderly be more active. If you’ve noticed that your loved one has actually become more immobile or is having more difficulty getting around, it may be a sign of a bad facility. An acceptable assisted living facility will have regular exercise programs for their residents to enhance their physical fitness.
Poor personal hygiene
Part of living in an assisted living community is that there are licensed nursing professionals there to assist your loved ones with their daily tasks. If you’ve noticed that your loved one has poor hygiene, it could be a sign that the assisted facility isn’t doing its job. Key indicators of bad hygiene include wearing dirty clothes, body odor, unwashed hair, the smell of urine or feces or overgrown nails.
Leaving a loved one in the help of an assisted living facility is something that requires a good bit of due diligence. While many assisted living facilities are in business to help elderly patients continue to stay mobile and active in their environment, there are some bad facilities. If you think that your loved one is receiving abuse at their assisted living facility, it’s advisable to contact an attorney to help understand their rights.