By Mark Favaloro, Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing home abuse or neglect can be devastating and emotionally traumatizing to your elderly loved one. In many instances, your loved one feels ashamed, or is led to believe that they did something wrong to cause the abuse. This creates a vicious cycle which allows the abuse to transform years that should be filled with rest and relaxation into years of avoidable health issues, emotional damage, and incalculable pain and suffering.
One of the reasons nursing home abuse is so prevalent is because it can be challenging to sit down with your mother, father, grandmother, etc. and broach this delicate subject. Your elderly loved one may even be suffering from dementiaor Alzheimer’s, while others may be altogether non-verbal. Some might be separated from you by distance, while others may be difficult to talk to openly due to generational differences.
Whatever the barriers may be, it is extremely important for you to talk to your loved one about what you’ve noticed in the nursing home facility and whether they are the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Below are some tips on how to talk about this issue with your loved one:
· Make sure that there aren’t distractions in the room, such as a TV or other people. It should be just the two of you in a room so you can both focus on the conversation and what it means.
· Don’t be too brisk or condescend to your loved one, even if you are now in the position of caretaker. Be sure to show them respect and love and listen to their needs. They may be trying to tell you something – be sure to hear it when they do.
· Talk to them openly about your concerns, and don’t be afraid to ask them direct questions even about sensitive questions.
· Spend time with your loved one as much as you can – if they are comfortable with you, they are more likely to be open with you even regarding unpleasant topics.
· If your loved one has suffered a drastic mood change, that may be their way of communicating a problem to you, even if they can’t say it in words. Be aware of their well-being, even if you can’t ask them how they are feeling.