As Seen on

Care Home Concerns: Something Isn’t Right

Care Home Concerns: Something Isn’t Right.

One of the most difficult conversations a person can have is one where they discuss care facilities with an elderly or vulnerable parent or family member. As these conversations progress, there is often a commitment to find the best possible new home; one where they will be happy.

As we help loved ones adapt to a new life in a care home, we do so with trust and the belief that they will receive the best possible care and respect. However, it’s an unfortunate reality that sometimes things do go very wrong, and concerns about mistreatment, neglect or theft may arise.

If your parent lives or spends time in a care facility and something feels off, acknowledging your concerns and taking steps to address them is crucial.

Some examples of concerns that care home abuse may be a problem:

  1. Physical Signs of Abuse or Neglect:
    • Unexplained bruises, cuts, or injuries: Marks that appear without a clear explanation or seem to be part of a pattern.
    • Sudden weight loss or malnutrition: Noticing that your loved one seems significantly thinner or is showing signs of not eating well.
    • Poor hygiene or unsanitary living conditions: Signs that your loved one is not being bathed regularly or that their living space is dirty or neglected.
  2. Behavioural Changes:
    • Withdrawal or isolation: If a usually sociable person becomes withdrawn or doesn’t want to participate in activities they used to enjoy.
    • Sudden changes in mood or behaviour: Uncharacteristic displays of anger, fear, or anxiety, especially around certain staff members or residents.
    • Fearfulness or agitation: Appearing uneasy, scared, or particularly agitated for no apparent reason, or showing fear towards certain individuals.
  3. Financial Irregularities:
    • Unexplained cash withdrawals or charges: Money missing from accounts or strange charges that the elderly person cannot explain or seems unaware of.
    • Missing personal items: Valuables or personal items that go missing without explanation, especially if they disappear repeatedly.
  4. Neglectful Care:
    • Medication errors: Signs that medication isn’t being administered properly, such as health declines or overdose symptoms.
    • Lack of necessities: Noticing that a loved one doesn’t have access to clean clothes, food, water, or a comfortable living environment.
    • Pressure sores or bedsores: Indicating that the individual has been left in one position for too long without proper care and movement.
  5. Communication from the loved one or other residents:
    • Direct complaints: The loved one expressing dissatisfaction with their treatment, or directly stating that they are being mistreated, neglected, or stolen from.
    • Reports from friends or other residents: Hearing concerns or stories from other residents or visitors about the care home or certain staff members.

Continue reading to understand how to navigate these difficult issues, with an explanation of where we would focus, as a professional investigative firm.

Be part of the 1%. Plan before you act.

According to a freedom of information request made by ITV, only 16 charges were made against a shocking 1080 allegations in 2022. That’s just 1%.
It’s vital that you take a legally compliant, dispassionate and well thought out approach to uncovering any instances of abuse.

What we’re trying to say is CALL US FIRST before committing to any kind of investigative or accusatory stance. If your fears are correct about potentially guilty parties, we’re trained to ensure that they are not accidentally warned of your concerns prior to proper evidence capture.

Recognise the Signs

Understanding the signs of mistreatment or neglect is the first step in ensuring the safety and well-being of your loved one. These can range from physical indicators like unexplained injuries, sudden weight loss, or a decline in personal hygiene to emotional signs such as withdrawal, anxiety, or fearfulness. Theft might be noticeable through missing personal items or unexplained financial transactions. Stay observant and trust your instincts; you know your loved one best.

Communicate and Document

Open communication is vital. Talk to your loved one about your concerns if they’re able to discuss them. Sometimes, they might be scared or unable to communicate due to their condition, so it’s important to approach the subject sensitively and supportively. Document any signs or incidents that concern you, including dates, times, and descriptions, as this information can be crucial in any investigation or discussion with care home management.

Engage with the Care Home

Approach the management or staff with your concerns. It’s important to do this calmly and constructively, outlining your observations and asking for explanations. A reputable care home should be responsive and transparent about their care practices and any incidents that have occurred. They should have procedures in place to address such concerns and be willing to work with you to resolve any issues.

Seek Professional Help

If your concerns are met with resistance or you observe no improvement, it may be time to seek professional help. Verity Henton can provide discrete investigative services to look into the care home’s practices, staff backgrounds, and any specific incidents of concern. This can involve discreet surveillance, background checks on staff, or gathering testimonies and evidence to support your case.

Legal and Regulatory Avenues

Understand the legal and regulatory protections in place for residents of care homes. This might involve reporting your concerns to local health departments, regulatory bodies, or even the police if you suspect criminal activity. If needed, legal counsel can guide you through the process of safeguarding your loved one’s rights and well-being. Verity Henton can connect you with legal experts specialising in elder care and abuse to ensure you have the robust support needed.

It’s distressing to suspect mistreatment or theft in a care home setting, but taking decisive action is crucial for the safety and dignity of your loved one. By recognising the signs, communicating effectively, and seeking the appropriate support and intervention, you can address your concerns and ensure that your loved one receives the care and respect they deserve. Verity Henton is here to assist you every step of the way; offering discreet, professional services to help you navigate this challenging situation with confidence and care.

Are you worried about your loved one in a care home? It’s time to act. At Verity Henton, we’re here to help you with private, caring support. Our team knows how to handle delicate situations discreetly and effectively.

Get in touch today for a confidential chat about how we can help make sure your loved one is safe and well. Your peace of mind matters to us. Let’s help make things right.