Nursing home abuse and neglect are serious problems at facilities throughout the nation. Neglect happens when a senior citizen in a nursing home doesn’t receive the level of care necessary. This level of care varies depending on individual needs, but it often includes assistance with eating, basic hygiene and mobility for those in nursing homes.
When nursing home residents don’t receive proper care, they can suffer significant consequences, both physical and psychological. Recognizing the signs can help prevent these problems before too much suffering occurs. Here are four red flags that nursing home neglect is taking place.
1. Unexplained injuries
People who don’t get the proper help may try to accomplish tasks on their own. Things like bruises, broken bones and head injuries are common indicators that this is happening. These injuries can occur from simple circumstances such as a resident trying to walk unassisted. This can lead to falling and other preventable harm.
2. Physical problems from malnutrition
Malnutrition and dehydration can be consequences of nursing home neglect. Whether the neglect is deliberate or comes from a lack of oversight, malnutrition is a common issue. High nurse turnover, poor individualized care and inadequate staffing can all be causes. Difficulty swallowing and depression can play a part in undernourishment, too.
3. Loss of mobility
Nursing home residents often experience challenges with mobility. A well-supervised and professional nursing home will ensure residents are helped by staff to move around and stay active. Many facilities have walking programs to improve circulation, build muscle strength and reduce spasms. If neglected, a resident may be in bed for extended periods of time. This can cause a loss or reduction in mobility. Bedsores and infections may also result.
4. Unsanitary facilities
Residents should be provided with clean and safe living conditions. There are several federal and state requirements regarding safety, security and sanitation. Make sure the facilities your loved ones are in have clean bedding and clothing, a sanitary kitchen and clean bathrooms. Neglect resulting in an unsanitary environment could cause sickness and other health issues for residents.
Neglect and abuse in nursing homes takes many forms, and there are a lot of red flags for different situations. Other warning signs include weight fluctuations, social withdrawal, indications of pain, and anxiety. If you think your loved one is a victim of neglect, you may need to take steps to prevent further harm. Contacting a professional attorney can give you the help you and your loved ones need.