Most people don’t want to put their elderly loved ones in a nursing home. But the realities of today’s world make it impossible for many people to care for their loved one’s in any other way. And truth be told, many nursing homes are great for elderly loved ones. They provide proper care while ensuring that residents’ physical, emotional, and social needs are met. With that being said, there are more bad nursing homes than people realize. If you’re worried that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, then we encourage you to read the rest of this post to learn how you might be able to spot signs of nursing abuse and neglect and bring them to a stop.
Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms. Any one of them, though, can be extraordinarily harmful to your loved one. Although we’d all like for nursing homes to abide by state and federal regulations to maintain residents’ safety, the truth of the matter is that they often fail to do so. This means that your loved one’s safety and well-being may fall into your hands. Here are some signs of nursing home abuse and neglect that you can keep an eye out for:
- Bad hygiene: A lot of nursing home residents need assistance with basic grooming habits. They might need help bathing, brushing their hair, brushing their teeth, and changing into clean clothes. If you see that your loved one who needs assistance is appearing unkempt and dirty, then you need to start asking questions.
- Poor nutrition: Many nursing home residents are incapable of cooking and/or feeding themselves. That’s why nursing home create menus that are supposed to be nutritionally valuable. In too many cases, though, nursing homes fail to ensure that residents receive enough food and hydration. Therefore, you should keep your eyes peeled for signs of malnutrition and dehydration, such as papery skin, sudden weight loss, excessive tiredness, and even hair loss.
- New and unexplained injuries: Everyone suffers an injury from time-to-time that is caused by nothing more than an accident. But in the nursing home context, there needs to be a very clear and justifiable explanation for every injury. If you feel that your loved one’s injury hasn’t been explained well enough, then you need to talk to management and take notes about everything you observe and hear.
- Mobility issues: Nursing homes should keep their residents as active as possible. This avoids muscle loss and ensures that residents can remain as mobile as possible. If your loved one starts having mobility issues, then you should speak to the staff to try to figure out what’s going on. You might learn that they’ve been neglecting your loved one’s physical well-being.
- Newfound emotional problems: Always keep your eye out for any signs of emotional harm. The onset of depression and social distancing might be signs of nursing home abuse and/or neglect.
Take the steps needed to protect your loved one
There are a number of things that you can do to try to protect your loved one if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect. You might be able to simply speak to management and get to the bottom of things, but you also might have to file a formal complaint with the appropriate state officials to bring about the change your loved one needs.
In many instances, though, legal action is the best option. This is the only way to find accountability while at the same time recovering compensation for damages suffered. These damages can be quite extensive, especially if you’re loved one now has a worsened medical condition or a poor prognosis. If you think that such action is best for your loved one, then it’s time to sit down with an attorney who is well versed in this area of the law.