It is important to closely monitor your loved one who is in a nursing home or long-term care facility for signs of neglect. Nursing home neglect can take many forms. Some common forms of neglect that you should look for include:
- Bedsores, pressure ulcers, or pressure injuries
- Sepsis, infections, and gangrene
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Falls and injuries
- Broken bones and bruises
- Unsanitary conditions or lack of grooming
- Unexplained weight loss or constant hunger
- Constant improper heating or cooling of the resident’s room
- Administering the wrong medication or dosage
- Missing medications or medications given at the improper times or intervals
- Depression or uncharacteristic withdrawal
- Lack of supervision or being unattended for long periods of time
- Allowing the resident to wander away from the premises
The standard of care of your elderly loved one should be high. They should be comfortable, well fed, and clean. These are the basics of proper care and supervision that you should expect for any nursing home resident.
Communication is Key
Talk with your elderly family member about how he or she is feeling and how they are being treated by the nursing home staff. Ask key questions and get responses if you can. Many times, simply talking with your loved one is the first step to identifying a problem.
Assess Your Family Member’s Condition
If your elderly loved one informs you that he or she has been neglected or suffered an injury due to inattention of the nursing home staff, follow up by assessing his or her physical condition. Look at your family member’s skin to see if there are bruises or injuries. Determine if he or she is suffering from bedsores at pressure points on their body, like their lower back or heels. Look to see if the nursing home resident appears uncharacteristically lethargic, withdrawn, or depressed. These are just a few of the physical symptoms that you should review every time you visit your family member in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Investigate Any Problems or Suspicions Immediately
If you find any problems in the care provided to your elderly loved one, or if you have suspicions of neglect or abuse, investigate and follow up immediately. Key areas of concern are whether your elderly family member is keeping good hygiene and the condition of his or her room. Is it sanitary, it is kept clean, and does it appear to be well looked after? Does the nursing home staff refuse to allow visitors to see your family member alone? These are key questions you should ask.
If you believe that your loved one has been injured due to neglect by a nursing home and its staff, demand answers. Your family member has a right to receive proper care and supervision. Ask the staff and physicians hard questions about the staffing levels, how the injury occurred, who was responsible for monitoring your loved one, why his or her room appears unsanitary and in disarray, what records have been kept regarding your loved one, and other necessary questions. Make the nursing home staff answer your questions — the health and condition of your family member is the most important issue. If your elderly loved one’s caregivers cannot answer these basic questions, this may be a sign that the nursing home resident has been neglected.
Demand Proper Medical Attention
Again, if your elderly nursing home resident has sustained an injury, demand that the nursing home provide the proper medical attention immediately. That means requesting that a physician evaluate your family member either in the nursing home or in a hospital setting.
Contact the Appropriate Authorities
For a list of state by state authorities to contact if your elderly loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, click here.
Let us fight for you.
If you suspect that your loved one has suffered injuries due to nursing home neglect, call us immediately and talk with one of our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect attorneys. All calls are confidential and initial consultations are free of charge.