Neglect is one of the most common forms of abuse in nursing home facilities. Neglect occurs when a resident does not receive the care he or she needs. Neglect often includes issues regarding basic hygiene, mobility assistance and help with eating. When people do not receive the care that they need and, indeed are entitled to, they can suffer significant physical and psychological damage.
To protect your loved one from neglect, it is important to recognize the signs because a combination of red flags may signal a problem worth investigating.
Something to look for is a resident’s poor personal hygiene. Residents of nursing homes often need help with the basics such as a dressing, brushing their teeth, bathing, grooming and more. Unfortunately, some nursing homes are short on staff or do not provide proper training, which often results in a resident’s basic needs not being met.
Nursing homes are required to provide safe and clean living conditions. If you detect unsanitary conditions, the facility is not complying with federal regulations possibly signaling an overall disregard for their resident’s well-being. Report your concerns to the nursing home administration.
Poor nutrition affects millions of elderly people in nursing homes across the United States. Malnutrition and dehydration can lead to serious medical issues and often arise when there is a lack of individualized care because of inadequate staffing. Ask your family member what they have had to eat and drink regularly to see if they are receiving meals. If they are unable to communicate look for signs of emaciation and dehydration such as thirst, dryness of the skin and fatigue.
It is essential for the elderly to get up and move around regularly and any nursing home worth its salt will make sure that residents stay active for good health. If a person is neglected they may spend long periods of time in bed, which could very well result in a total loss of mobility and infections. Checking in with your family member about their day and asking questions of the nursing home facility regarding activities that your family member is participating in is key. Drop in at different times during the day unannounced when possible to see what your family member is doing at different times of the day.
Injuries that are left untreated may be a sign of neglect. Seniors who are not receiving the assistance they need will often try to do things independently at the risk of injury. Falls, cuts and bruises may result and, left untreated by inattentive staff, can quickly become larger problems for an elderly resident.
We place our loved ones in the care of nursing home facilities and expect that they will be treated with the greatest care and respect. Unfortunately, the elderly sometimes are taken advantage of intentionally or unintentionally because of their vulnerability. If you or a family member has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the Des Moines Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help at 515-283-2116.
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