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Are there non-physical signs of abuse?

When you leave your loved one in the care of a nursing facility, you expect them to receive the best treatment possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nursing homes and facilities often struggle with cases of abuse.

You may feel tempted to keep an eye out for primarily physical signs that abuse is occurring. But did you know that non-physical signs often come before physical red flags?

Behavioral changes

The National Institute on Aging discusses physical and non-physical signs of abuse. Though family and loved ones of victims often look for physical signs like bruising first, this is not always the case. In fact, many abusers go out of their way to avoid leaving physical marks. They know others are on the lookout for those things, and they understand that it will look suspicious if a victim continues ending up injured.

Instead, keep an eye out for behavioral changes or signs. For example, many victims will show aggression, concern or hesitation around their abusers. Their personality may go through general changes as stress from the abuse continues to pile up. They may become reticent or depressed, or they could start to lash out at even their loved ones.

Verbal signs and staff behavior

They may even verbally mention that they are undergoing abuse. In some cases, the abuse of these victims go undiscovered simply because others do not believe them.

Pay attention to staff behavior, too. Are they dismissive? Do they refuse to give you straight answers? Does the staff itself have a high turnover rate? These can all point to abuse occurring from staff members. If you notice these signs, consider doing further investigation into the possibility of abuse.