Sudden Behavioral Changes In Nursing Home Residents: NYC Elder Abuse Lawyer

When you have an elder loved one residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it can be difficult to know when the senior is suffering from a preventable problem or when the senior is simply experiencing the natural process of aging. For example, while a behavioral change may simply be a symptom of progressing and previous diagnosed dementia, it can also be a warning sign of nursing home neglect, nursing home abuse, or a medical problem that needs immediate attention and treatment.

As friends or family members, you should be especially concerned with sudden behavioral changes – noticeable and significant differences in how your loved one acts during visits or over the phone. There could be a number of reasons for these sudden changes in personality or behavior:

  • Over medication. Some nursing homes have been known to overmedicate their residents in order to keep them sedated and more manageable. This is absolutely unacceptable.
  • Depression. Some seniors may suffer from depression, especially during the initial transition from living independently to living in an assisted environment. Depression is a serious concern that should be looked in to and treated.
  • Nursing home abuse. Sudden behavioral changes could also come from physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse. If you feel that you have seen evidence of this abuse or suspect abuse, act immediately.
  • Dementia or Alzheimer's. These two conditions are common in seniors – and they could cause behavioral changes over time. If you believe that your loved one could have these illnesses, consult with your doctor.
  • Nursing home neglect. Neglected seniors could suffer from malnutrition, isolation, bedsores, and other serious mental issues and health issues. Again, if you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect, report your suspicions as soon as possible.