Neglect is a particularly harmful form of abuse. It may not involve aggravated violence or deliberate mistreatment, but the consequences can be just as traumatizing and deadly for affected persons. If you have a parent, grandparent, or other loved one in a nursing home, your ability to spot the signs of neglect is critical to preserving their health and longevity.
When you visit your loved one, keep an eye out for the following:
- Poor hygiene (This may look like unbrushed teeth, unkempt nails, body odor, messy hair, etc.)
- Unsanitary conditions (This may mean a lack of dusting, mopping, sweeping, organization, etc.)
- Malnutrition and dehydration (These can result from lack of individualized attention, inedible food, or inadequate nutrition provided by the nursing home.)
- Reduced mobility (Failure by nursing home staff to keep residents up and moving as much as possible can result in a significant decline in their ability to move unassisted. Most nursing homes have programs to help residents maintain and improve their level of mobility, but residents who do not receive adequate attention will not enjoy the benefits of such initiatives.)
- New mental health issues (Patients who do not receive adequate attention and human interaction are likely to undergo changes in personality and social behavior. They may also show signs of anger, resentment, fearfulness, and other negative emotions.)
- Signs of injuries (Without adequate attention, patients are likely to fall, break bones, bruise themselves, and develop bed sores, among other injuries.)
Keep in mind that not all signs of decline are necessarily the result of neglect, and it is important to corroborate your suspicions with evidence. However, as soon as you suspect your loved one may be suffering as a result of neglect by nursing home staff or administrators, it is important to use all available means of recourse.
If your loved one is showing signs of neglect, we urge you to take the following steps immediately:
- Document your loved one’s injuries and take pictures.
- Talk to your loved one and ask them about the care they are receiving.
- Speak with your loved one’s assigned nurses, aides, etc. about your concerns.
- Speak with nursing home administrators about the perceived signs of neglect.
- If resolving it internally is ineffective or your loved one has already suffered serious harm, connect with a nursing home abuse attorney immediately.
We Have Faithfully Served Nursing Home Residents & Their Families for Decades
At Hutton & Hutton Law Firm, LLC, we may be able to help you hold your loved one’s nursing home and caregivers accountable for failing to provide adequate, attentive care. We understand the laws and regulations that pertain to nursing home care, and we can help you determine the exact nature of the wrongs committed against your loved one. Depending on the nature of your case, we may also be able to help you pursue compensation for any damages you and your loved one have experienced as a result of negligent care.