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Spotting the signs of nursing home abuse in Montana

According to the Montana government, there are more than 350 nursing home facilities across the state. The Long Term Care Ombudsmen Program is intended to protect the rights of people living in these facilities, especially when there is a complaint. Ombudsmen are trained to help families who suspect that a loved one has suffered physical, emotional or verbal abuse.

In order to help a nursing home patient, friends and families need to be aware of the signs that the resident has suffered abuse. Physical abuse is perhaps the most obvious, as it can leave bruises, scratches and broken bones. Someone who has been restrained may have marks on his or her wrists and ankles.

The signs of other forms of abuse may be less noticeable, but they still send a warning that something is amiss. The Administration on Aging suggests that people look for the following symptoms of elder abuse

  •        A change in alertness
  •        A withdrawal from the activities in which the resident usually enjoys
  •        Poor hygiene and medical needs that have gone untreated
  •        Strained relationships between the resident and the nursing home staff

The AOA points out that just one symptom alone may not necessarily mean that a resident has suffered abuse. However, friends or family who notice any sign should question it.

In Montana, someone who suspects nursing home abuse is encouraged to contact Adult Protective Services as soon as possible. The state also enables victims of abuse and neglect to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their damages.

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