Do you know these signs of nursing home financial abuse?

When you placed your aging mother or father in an Ohio nursing home, you hoped the professionals there would take great care of your loved one. Rather than physical abuse, you may harbor concerns of a different misdeed. Could your parent be a victim of financial abuse?

To get a better sense of the potential situation, see what Nursing Home Abuse Support says about financial exploitation in nursing homes. Your loved one does not have to suffer in silence.

Sudden changes to financial documents

If you have access to your parent’s finances and legal documents, look over them for unexplained or sudden changes. Focus on items such as the power of attorney and will.

Odd bank withdrawals

Did your mother or father make any out-of-the-ordinary withdrawals since moving into the nursing home? Monitor retirement, savings and checking accounts for concerning activity.

Poor living conditions

While nursing home residents may live in rooms and spaces below their current financial means to save money, more sinister reasons could be at play. If your parent’s current living conditions are lower than what she or he enjoyed before moving into a nursing home, find out why.

A lack of medical devices

Sometimes, nursing home residents pay for walkers, CPAP machines and other mobility and medical devices that never arrive. If this is the case with your loved one, ask the nursing home staff why.

Taking generic medication while paying for brand name prescriptions

Related to paying for nonexistent medical devices, nursing home residents sometimes pay for brand name medication but receive generic prescriptions. Someone at the nursing home may pocket the difference between the brands.

Do these 3 things if you hit an electric pole

Colliding with an electric pole can have life-threatening consequences, as a Texas family recently discovered. In a tragic incident, a 20-year-old man survived an impact with a utility pole only to die from electrocution after stepping outside his vehicle to survey damage. 

When you drive, you probably pass countless utility poles. You may not, though, understand what to do if you collide with one. Taking three simple steps may save your life. 

1. Call 911 and stay in your car

If you collide with an electric pole, you should stay inside your vehicle and call 911. After all, downed wires may be live, causing them to be an electrocution risk to you. Even if wires are far away, the ground may be carrying a potentially deadly electrical current. 

2. Notify others

Following the crash, friendly Ohioans may stop to help. They may not, however, recognize the inherent danger. Accordingly, you should shout a warning to anyone who is trying to approach. Advise individuals to stay away and wait for emergency responders to arrive. 

3. Jump free

Sometimes, remaining in a crashed vehicle is impossible. If your car is on fire or otherwise dangerous, you must exit it. You should be careful not to complete the circuit by touching your car and the ground at the same time. Instead, jump free from the vehicle and land on both feet. 

After you jump free, shuffle your feet until you are at least 30 feet away from the accident scene. Remember, hitting a utility pole can be stressful, so rehearsing jumping and shuffling before a collision occurs is a good idea. 

Physical and behavioral signs of nursing home abuse

Residents of nursing homes are not always able to report elder abuse to those who can help. Therefore, people close to the resident, especially family members and friends, have a responsibility to pay attention to signs of possible abuse and take appropriate action.

Signs of elder abuse can be either physical or behavioral. Behavioral signs may show up earlier than physical signs, but physical signs are often more recognizable. Loved ones should pay close attention to both to get help for the resident as quickly as possible.

Physical signs

Physical signs of elder abuse are more concrete than behavioral signs. For this reason, they may be easier to identify. The National Center on Elder Abuse identifies broken bones, cuts, welts, burns, sores or bruises as physical warning signs of abuse. These are especially worrisome if the injuries are serious in nature and nursing home personnel are unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for them. It is also a red flag if injuries such as bruises appear in a cluster pattern.

Behavioral signs

Behavioral signs of elder abuse are less concrete than physical signs. According to the American Society on Aging, they sometimes resemble symptoms of mental health problems or dementia. For these reasons, people sometimes ignore or dismiss them, but any unusual behavioral changes warrant further investigation to determine whether abuse may be the cause.

Nursing home residents who have experienced abuse may display submissive or fearful behavior. For example, they may cringe away from physical contact, startle easily or refuse to meet the gaze of others. Irritability or anger without an apparent cause can be a behavioral sign of abuse. The resident may become withdrawn, depressed or apathetic. Conversely, he or she may become anxious or agitated. It is a red flag if symptoms such as these increase in the presence of a certain individual, who may be an abuser.