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What are nonverbal signs of nursing home abuse?

You may have concerns about leaving a loved one in the care of a nursing facility. After all, this is a big decision that takes some measure of control out of the hands of you and your loved one. 

While many nursing homes and elder care facilities offer top quality service, you must keep an eye out for red flags. Unfortunately, there are people in the world who can and will take advantage of the elderly and abuse them. 

Physical signs of abuse

The National Institute on Aging discusses potential signs of elder abuse. Many of these signs are nonverbal. Elderly patients are not likely to report their abuse for various reasons. Some do not even recall the abuse if suffering from dementia or other forms of memory loss. 

First, keep an eye out for signs on their body. Obvious examples include bruises, broken bones, scratches and scrapes. Elderly individuals may sometimes injure themselves more often. But if your loved one continually turns up with new injuries, it is a red flag. Pay attention to their weight, too. A common abuse tactic involves the deprivation of food and drink from the victim. They may also refuse food if distressed and traumatized due to abuse. 

Behavioral and social differences in abuse victims

Pay attention to their demeanor and personality changes, too. Sudden social withdrawal, agitation, confusion and irritability might stem from abuse. In particular, pay attention to your loved one when they interact with staff. If they have an aversion toward certain members of staff, this may also serve as a warning sign of problems. Once you identify red flags, consider contacting an attorney to determine your next move.