My mother is in a nursing home and has alzheimers. She keeps complaining of nursing home abuse. How do I prove her claim?

My grandmother, who has Alzheimer's, keeps insisting that the staff at her nursing home is abusive and wants to hurt her. How can I determine if she is really being abused since she has had paranoid episodes in the past?

Answers (1)

Many times, symptoms of elder abuse can appear to be symptoms of dementia, mental deterioration, or frailty due to aging. Nursing home abuse can be both physical and emotional. If you suspect that your grandmother is being abused at the nursing home, first evaluate whether or not there are any signs of either or both physical and emotional abuse.

Common signs and symptoms of physical abuse include the following:

  • Unexplained injuries to the body, such as bruises, cuts, or scratches;
  • Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations;
  • Broken eyeglasses;
  • Signs of being restrained, such as rope marks on the wrists
  • Refusal or hesitation by the nursing home staff to let you visit with your grandmother alone.

In addition, you should also look for signs and symptoms of emotional abuse. These include:

  • Personally witnessing a nursing home staff member or members threatening your grandmother;
  • Your grandmother appearing to be confused, agitated, angry, fearful, and telling implausible stories.

If you conclude that your grandmother may be the victim of nursing home abuse, consult an elder abuse attorney to determine your next course of action.

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