Currently in the United States, there are more citizens over the age of 65 than there are teenagers. Every year, thousands of these elderly Americans make their way into nursing homes or other residential care facilities. Although they may have moved there for a variety of reasons, most of these people experience some kind of psychological distress during their stay in one of these facilities. Some of the most common shared types of psychological distress experienced by these residents are depression and loneliness.
According to researchers, when elderly patrons are first admitted to nursing homes, many undergo a period of depression within the first 10 days. This is more severe in people who are coming from a home environment as opposed to those that are coming from a hospital environment. Experts think that this period of depression is due to part to a loss of autonomy, loss of personal possessions, and a lack of familiar environment.
The adjustment process from home to a nursing home can take anyway from three to six months, and some residents never fully adjustment or get over symptoms of depression. Depressed residents are often disengaged or disinterested in activities most of the day and do not seem to want to participate in either formal or informal activities put on by the nursing home community. Unfortunately, your loved one’s depressive symptoms could also be a result of abuse at thehands of the nursing home staff. Although not all depressive symptoms are a direct result of abuse, if you suspect that an elderly loved one has been abused while in the care of another, it could be time to take legal action.
If you would like more information about this page or Attorney Stoehr's areas of practice, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100.