Red Flags To Look For When Visiting An Elderly Relative In A Nursing Home

Dec 12, 2022 | Parenting Tips

Moving your elderly relative into a nursing home can put a huge weight on your shoulders, as you need to be able to maintain faith that they’re going to be well looked after. It’s hard to know for sure whether they’re truly being taken care of, as it’s not always as obvious as a black eye when elder abuse is afoot. 

This guide contains some of the red flags that you can look out for when visiting your elderly relative in a nursing home, helping you to spot the signs of potential abuse or mistreatment. Read on to discover more and better protect your elderly relative today. 

Body Odor, Long Fingernails & Oily Hair 

If you arrive to visit your loved one in their nursing home only to find that they appear to have not been bathed for days or even weeks, then this is a sure fire sign that mistreatment is taking place. Warning signs such as body odor, long fingernails, oily hair and other similar factors suggest that your elderly relative has not been showered or groomed for some time, and this is one of the key responsibilities of a carer in a nursing home. If they are failing to complete such basic yet essential tasks, then it’s more than likely that there are deeper, more serious problems too. Never ignore these red flags when you visit your elderly relative. 

Bedsores & Other Pressure Wounds 

If your elderly relative isn’t very mobile, then there’s a real risk that they can suffer from bedsores and pressure wounds if they are not moved regularly. Bedsores can be extremely painful, and unfortunately in some cases they can even be fatal. Being left in one position for weeks on end can lead to a massive build of pressure in certain areas of the body, and this can break through the skin and even leave bone visible in the worst cases. Always check your elderly relative for signs of bed sores when you visit them in a nursing home, as they should be moved frequently to prevent these painful pressure wounds from occurring. As bedsores mean your relative hasn’t moved for some time, this can also translate into them having no socialization throughout this period too. So, it’s bad for both their physical and mental well-being. 

A Change In Their Personality 

Noticing a change in your elderly relative’s personality can be extremely frightening, especially when they go from being a happy, outgoing person to being withdrawn and quiet. A change in their personality suggests that something is wrong, and if it happened while your elderly relative was inside a nursing home, then this likely means that some aspect of their surroundings is to blame. Don’t feel the need to poke and prod to get to the bottom of the situation – make sure your relative feels comfortable enough to share the details so that you get the full picture. Never be afraid to pursue a legal case and try suing a nursing home if your elderly relative has been abused, as you can stop the injustice happening to other patients who may not have family of their own to step in and act.

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