Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue at facilities for seniors across the country. Neglect is something that occurs when a person does not receive the proper level of care that they need. This can vary depending on the individual case, but in the case of nursing home residents, it may include assistance with mobility, eating, and basic hygiene. When proper care is not provided by the nursing home, residents may suffer significant psychological and physical damage. Understanding how to spot the signs of neglect is important to help you stop it before your loved one suffers a lot. While the signs can vary, here are some of the most common red flags to be aware of.
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Unsanitary Living Conditions
One of the main responsibilities of a nursing home is to provide residents with a clean, safe living environment. Failing to meet this need could be an indicator that there is neglect of the residents at the home. Nursing homes are legally required to establish and maintain and infection control program that is designed to provide an environment that is safe and sanitary for the residents. Ensure that your loved one is provided with clean bedding and clothing, a clean bathroom area, and a clean kitchen.
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue that are a result of a long period of pressure on the skin. Bedsores are more likely to develop on areas of the skin that cover a body area of the body such as the tailbone, heels, hips and ankles. While bedsores can develop in people due to limited mobility that causes them to spend most of their time in a chair or bed, your loved one should be monitored for these by the nursing home and moved regularly if they cannot move themselves to prevent them. While bed sores may not always be a sign of neglect, if they are serious and appearing a lot of the time, then it may be worth investigating further. A good bed sore lawyer can help.
While it is not uncommon for older people to have falls and accidents and injure themselves from time to time, unexplained injuries such as head injuries, bruises, and broken bones may be a significant indicator that neglect or abuse is happening. This may be a sign of something more sinister such as physical abuse or it may be that your loved one is trying to do more for themselves when they are not able to, leading to injuries like trips and falls.
Lack of Nutrition
Neglect in nursing homes may also lead to physical issues like dehydration and malnutrition. This may not always be caused deliberately and could be the result of issues such as staff shortages, a lack of individualized care, and high staff turnover.
When you trust your loved one to the care of a nursing home, you expect them to be looked after as well as they would be at home. Sadly, however, this does not always happen, which is why it’s important to be vigilant to the signs of neglect.