Entrusting the wellbeing and safety of your loved one to a nursing home is a major decision and, when you finally choose a place, you expect them to provide the best care. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Nursing home abuse is a serious problem across the United States, and neglect is one of the most common forms of it. Being able to recognize the signs of abuse is key to addressing it and preventing your loved one’s continued suffering in the hands of unfit and negligent caregivers.
Here are some of the most common red flags you should watch out for:
- Poor Hygiene: Nurses and other staff are expected to aid their elderly residents with basic personal hygiene, such as getting dressed, brushing teeth, bathing, and more. When a resident is being neglected, it is often evident in his or her appearance. This might occur intentionally, but is more often than not a result of an inadequately staffed facility. If staff is improperly trained, lack of formal education might also contribute to their inability to administer proper care.
- Unsanitary Living Conditions: According to federal law, nursing home facilities are required to provide residents with safe and clean living conditions and to maintain an infection control program designed to provide a comfortable environment. When you visit your loved one, make sure he or she has clean clothing, bedding, and a sanitary bathroom and kitchen area. These are not just a matter of comfort, but safety.
- Malnutrition: Lack of oversight often leads to malnutrition and dehydration, which can lead to serious physical or mental issues, such as depression or difficulty swallowing. Caused by either inadequate staffing or deliberate intent, this problem affects millions of individuals living in nursing homes across the country.
- Lack of Mobility: Mobility is a common issue for nursing home residents and, as such, often require the assistance of nursing home staff to move around, exercise, and remain active. A resident who is being neglected might be left in bed for lengthy periods of time, resulting in a loss of mobility, bedsores, and infections.
- Unexplained Injuries: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 1,800 elderly residents living in nursing homes die each year from fall-related injuries. Those who manage to survive often become permanently disabled and experience a significantly reduced quality of life. If you notice injuries like broken bones, cuts, or bruises, this might be an indicator that abuse or neglect are taking place.
6.Psychological Issues: Neglect also has a significant psychological impact on nursing home residents, leading to a number of emotional issues. They might be afraid of their caregivers, or refuse to talk about their issues, which can build up anger or resentment. If you notice your loved one becoming increasingly distant or depressed, you should look into the possibility of neglect or abuse.
Regularly visiting your loved one and being observant of his or her condition, appearance, and emotional wellbeing will help you detect any of these red flags. If you do suspect that your loved one is being neglected, it is important to take action and contact the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116. In severe cases or emergencies, call 911 immediately.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Wichita, KS
If your loved one has been injured or harmed due to negligent nursing home staff, you have a right to hold them accountable for their actions. At Hutton & Hutton Law Firm, LLC, our Wichita personal injury staff provides compassionate counsel and powerhouse advocacy for injured victims and their families. We have recovered over $400 million in compensation for our clients and many of our attorneys have been recognized for excelling in their area of practice. You and your loved one deserve justice and we are here to deliver it.
Call us today at (316) 688-1166 to get started on your case.