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Is all bruising a sign of nursing home neglect or abuse?

When a loved one lives in a nursing home, it is common to feel anxious or worried over the care and treatment provided. After all, many stories and reports across the nation carry the news about elderly abuse from neglect or misconduct.

Bedsores, weight loss and bruising are often considered signs of nursing home negligence, and these conditions should raise alarm for family members. Bruising, though potentially a cause for concern from poor treatment, might correspond to conditions that are not related to abuse.

Bruising due to neglect

Elderly or disabled individuals are more likely to experience balance and stability issues. A minor trip and fall over a loose rug or missed step could lead to serious medical consequences in a body that is frail and weak. Nursing home staff should practice both prevention and intervention as it relates to stumbles or falls. Failing to watch residents closely can contribute to incidents of neglect that lead to bruising.

Bruising due to medical conditions

Older people bruise more easily because the protective muscle tissue in the skin begins to thin and the body’s blood vessels being to break down. Elderly individuals also tend to use blood thinners, which make a body more prone to bruising. Anti-inflammatory medications for arthritis and corticosteroids for inflammation can also cause the body to bruise more easily. Accidental bruising could occur from bumping into a chair or dropping a book.

Elder abuse and neglect are serious concerns that require immediate action. Pay careful attention to any signs of bruising or harm.