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How can one recognize nursing home neglect or abuse? (Part 2)

Our last entry here on our Ann Arbor medical malpractice law blog started looking at some of the different forms of elder abuse that can occur in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Let's continue this week with some warning signs for which Ann Arbor residents should be on the lookout if they suspect nursing home neglect or abuse may be taking place.

On the one hand, signs of physical harm may be obvious. Bruises, burns and abrasions should always be questioned, but there are other physical signs as well. These include bedsores, lack of hygiene and unexplained weight loss. Any of these indicators might be red flags of neglect or abuse. In particular, unexplained marks around private areas could be a sign that sexual assault has occurred.

On the other hand, there are red flags that go beyond these outwardly visible signs. Look for elder relatives who withdraw from their day-to-day activities or who seem to express depression or a lack of alertness. These could be the result of emotional or psychological abuse by nursing home staff.

In addition, elder nursing home residents may come to find out that the savings accounts they depended on for support are not as robust as they might have thought. This could be a sign that someone is exploiting them financially.

Physical, emotional and financial abuse are all serious concerns for Ann Arbor residents with loved ones in assisted living situations. And while we present this information as general background only -- not as specific legal advice -- we emphasize in conclusion that a legal professional can play an important role in investigating these situations and protecting elder loved ones.

Source: Administration on Aging, "What is Elder Abuse?," accessed on Jan. 17, 2015

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