The holiday season is a time for family. If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home, chances are you will see them this December to open gifts, or just enjoy spending time together. Sadly, as a nursing home abuse attorney Memphis trusts, I know the holiday season is also a time for increased risk of nursing home abuse and neglect.

The World Health Organization reports one in six older adults worldwide is a victim of elder abuse. Unfortunately, around the holiday season, this problem becomes even more of a challenge.

Why the holidays bring a greater risk for nursing home abuse

During the holidays, many nursing home caregivers request time off to spend with their family. This leaves fewer qualified staff members to care for the residents, increasing the risk of neglect and abuse.

Temporary staff may be brought into the nursing home to fill the gaps. But these workers usually lack the necessary education and skill to provide adequate care. Overwhelmed or impatient temporary staff members may even intentionally abuse patients.

Of course, there are also temporary caregivers who mean well and are trying to be careful. But even those with good intentions are more likely to make errors that can negatively impact the health and wellbeing of patients. For example, untrained workers may not understand the protocols of the facility, or may give patients the wrong medication.

How you can help protect your loved one

The best thing that you can do to protect your loved one is to visit often and keep an eye out for signs of elder abuse or neglect. That being said, not all signs are easy to spot. Here are some common warning signs of nursing home abuse:

  • Unclean nursing home environment, such as soiled sheets
  • Change in the elder’s personality, such as symptoms of depression, paranoia, confusion, or acting withdrawn
  • Lack of interest in socializing with others or participating in favorite hobbies
  • Increase in falls
  • Presence of bedsores, open wounds, or welts
  • Reports from the elder of feeling light-headed or abnormally fatigued
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained physical injuries, such as broken bones, black eyes, bruises, strains, or sprains
  • Use of restraints
  • Intentional isolation of the elderly person
  • Poor hygiene and upkeep
  • Poor dental health
  • Inappropriate dress for the weather
  • Torn clothing
  • Medication errors
  • Overmedication
  • Lack of water and attention

Keep your eyes peeled for these warning signs, and don’t be afraid to ask your grandma or grandpa how they are being treated. Staying alert and asking questions can help determine if your loved one is being harmed or treated well.

It is worth mentioning that abusive caretakers often target victims that rarely have visitors, so they have less risk of being caught. Though the holidays can be a busy time with countless obligations, even a short visit to check in on them can go a long way.

Speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer Memphis relies on for FREE

If you have a family member in a nursing facility, I sincerely hope they are getting the best care possible. But if you suspect any form of abuse, be it financial, emotional, or physical, it’s important to  contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney right away.

You can contact us online or call 901-327-2100. The consultation is absolutely free. Our team of compassionate attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have and come up with a plan to get your loved one out of their abusive situation and get them the care they deserve.

With over 30 years experience I’ve helped many folks get justice for their elderly family members. I can do the same for you. Give us a call today.