Common Nursing Home Injury Types

When it comes to our elderly loved ones, we try to do as much as possible for them. However, there may come a time when a nursing home is unavoidable due to the level of care needed, an inability to handle both the caretaking role and familial commitments, or due to specific medical conditions that require advanced treatments. When this time comes, the last thing on our minds is the potential for nursing home injuries.

Nursing Home Injury Causes

There are many types of injuries that can occur in a nursing home due to falls, trips and slips. Unfortunately, there are also injuries that may occur due to neglect or elder abuse. In many cases, you may be aware of your loved one’s weakness or other conditions that make accidental falls possible. However, if these weaknesses or conditions are not known, it could be possible that your elder suffered a nursing home injury due to abuse.

Determining the Cause of the Injury

If you believe that your loved one’s injury was not the result of a true accident, there are signs that you can look for to determine if there might be abuse occurring. Some of the most common signs of nursing home injuries that are caused by abuse include:

  • Injuries that occur in a patient who is bed-bound
  • Dehydration or malnutrition
  • Asphyxiation
  • Head injuries or fractures
  • Severe infections
  • Bedsores that have reached later stages that involve underlying tissue or bone
  • Injuries such as bruises, cuts, welts or wounds that have no explanation
  • Several injuries that are all at differing stages of healing

While many of these injuries can occur due to normal accidents, many others have a greater likelihood of being due to abuse, or at least neglect, which is also considered a type of nursing home abuse.

Other Signs

In addition to the obvious and visible signs of injury that can occur with abuse, you may also discover that your loved one has gone through changes in his or her mental state. Some of the most commonly reported non-physical signs that are reported include:

  • Sudden withdrawal, especially in patients who were once outgoing
  • Noticeable agitation or signs of being upset
  • A reluctance or refusal to speak with you when staff members are in the room
  • The patient suddenly desiring to be away from others, or place him or herself in isolation
  • Unexplainable and sudden fear of others touching him or her
  • Unusual behavioral changes such as biting or incessant rocking

While some elderly patients go through periods of changes in their behavior, sudden or unexplainable changes need to be addressed. You can try to speak to your loved one alone about the situation, but in many cases, he or she may be unwilling to speak about the abuse out of fear. One of the best ways of helping your loved one is to approach the subject calmly, and refrain from anger or yelling, as this can be similar behavior to that which is displayed by the abuser.

Additional Warning Signs

There are also other warning signs that are indicative of nursing home injuries occurring due to abuse. If your loved one suffers injuries requiring emergency medical treatment, broken bones, or is frequently ill with unreported sicknesses, there may be cause for alarm. Additionally, if you notice that the elder is suddenly under high levels of sedation or other medication, without an explanation, this could be a sign as well.

If you believe your loved one has suffered a nursing home injury, you need to make sure that you remove him or her from the situation if you are afraid that the situation may occur again. You should also contact the authorities to have the situation addressed properly.

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