If you have relatives in a nursing home, you most likely have some concerns. After all, people in nursing homes are at the mercy of their caregivers, and you never really know the whole story unless you are there all the time.

But as an attorney who has worked with victims of nursing home abuse, let me tell you that, if you are hearing stories, you owe it to your loved one to investigate the situation.

Just as parents are encouraged to “listen to their children” and take accusations about issues seriously, you need to listen to your aged parents, aunts, uncles or grandparents. Even if they are prone to telling stories or want nothing more than to be “elsewhere,” any complaints about nursing home treatment need to be taken very seriously.

Here are some symptoms of potential nursing home abuse:

  1. Sudden weight loss (could be a sign of malnutrition)
  2. Poor personal hygiene (not unusual, but unacceptable all the same)
  3. Bed sores or other pressure points that will not heal
  4. Constant thirst (possible sign of dehydration)
  5. Bruising or broken bones
  6. General fear

If you suspect nursing home abuse or your relative is telling you he or she is not being well cared for, take the matter seriously. Take up your complaint immediately with the nursing staff and attending physician. While staff are trained to downplay any concerns until they have investigated on their own, do not accept a passive response.

If you believe you are not getting the results you need, or if proof of abuse is forthcoming, you need to contact an attorney. David Van Sant is an Atlanta personal injury attorney who helps nursing home victims in Georgia. Contact Mr. Van Sant today for more information. Our elderly relatives are far too important to leave in dangerous situations. Act fast if you expect some form of elder abuse.

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