Avoiding Legal Trouble

Has COVID-19 Closed You Off From Your Loved One? How To Identify Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse

If your loved one is in a nursing home, you know that things have changed. COVID-19 shutdowns have now made it impossible for you to have in-person visits with your loved one. These restrictions are designed to protect the elderly from exposure to the virus. But, they've had the adverse effect of increasing the risk for nursing home abuse. That's because family members are no longer able to monitor the care that their loved ones are receiving. If you're worried about your loved one and fear that they may be the victim of nursing home abuse, there are things you can do — even when you can't get inside for a visit. Here are four steps you need to take if you suspect nursing home abuse. 

Ask the Right Questions

If you suspect that your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to ask the right questions. You might not be able to get inside the nursing home, but you can ask these questions during your phone conversations. During your phone calls, ask your loved one how they feel and whether they feel safe. It's also a good idea to ask your loved one if they have any worries or concerns. If you're worried that your loved one's conversations are being monitored, designate a safe word that your loved one can use when they feel unsafe or need your help. 

Visit Through the Window

If you're not allowed in-person visits with your loved one right now, arrange for window visits. This allows you to visit with your loved one while being safely separated by a window. One of the benefits of a window visit is that you can still check for physical changes in your loved one, including weight loss, visible injuries, or visible changes in their behavior or mood. 

Request Private Online Visits

If you're unable to schedule routine window visits, arrange for private online visits. You can use phones or laptops to have face-to-face visits with your loved one while you're unable to enjoy in-person visits. The nursing home should be willing to help your loved one connect for online visits. If they're not, you might want to take a closer look. 

Do Your Loved One's Laundry

If you're worried that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, volunteer to do their laundry. When you do your loved one's laundry, you can look for signs of abuse. Some signs would include urine-soaked clothing, unexplained bloodstains, or unusually dirty laundry. These are all signs that your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse. 

If you feel that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, take action immediately. Contact a nursing home abuse attorney near you. They can help you get the help you need for your loved one.