Leaving a beloved family member at a nursing home is scary. There are feelings of guilt and worry that something will happen to them. But, most of the time, those feelings dissipate with time, and you realize that you made the right choice. However, sometimes, you begin to notice things are off with your New York City loved one, which could be a sign of dementia or other mental issue, but it could also be a sign of a traumatic brain injury that your loved one incurred as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect.
The signs of minor or mild TBIs
TBIs have a variety of physical and psychological symptoms. They include problems with speech, fatigue, nausea, headache, dizziness and various sensory problems. There could also be sensitivity to light and sound, and of course cognitive issues. These include behavioral and mood changes, confusion, disorientation, difficulty remembering and concentration problems.
Minor or less-severe TBIs
Unfortunately, the most common signs of minor or less-severe TBIs are virtually identical to cognitive decline. This is why when you notice them, you should have your loved one medically examined by a doctor not affiliated with the nursing home. Unfortunately, for those medical professionals that are part of or contracted with, they have a financial incentive to not find anything.
Major TBIs can easier to spot
If your loved one is experiencing severe nursing home trauma in New York City and has a TBI as a result, the signs of a major TBI are more noticeable. These include an inability to keep food down or persistent vomiting and nausea, seizures, pupil dilation, clear fluid draining from the nose or ear and a loss of consciousness, like an inability to stay awake or be awaken. Major TBI symptoms are more severe. For example, your loved one may not be able to walk because they have a severe loss of coordination. They may also become unexplainably violent, combative or exhibit other unusual behavior suddenly. They could also lose their ability to communicate.
A key takeaway
Unfortunately, TBIs can remain hidden. And, minor TBIs can look like age-related conditions, hiding severe and pervasive elder abuse at New York City nursing homes. So, if you see any signs, do not just chalk it up to old age. Call their doctor. A doctor can do testing and may be able to tell whether the minor symptom you noticed are related to a TBI caused by abuse or neglect, or simply normal age-related cognitive decline.