Personal Injury Lawyer
Nursing home mistreatment is a serious problem that occurs in many facilities across the United States. When the nursing home staff fail to provide sufficient care, are abusive, or neglectful in attending to resident needs, the facility can be held liable for losses and damages caused. Family members can help ward off incidents of mistreatment by visiting their relatives often and unpredictably, along with being involved in their medical care decisions. By keeping a close eye on your relative, you can help protect them from being taken advantage of or harmed by caregivers.
While the signs for nursing home abuse and neglect may differ depending on the circumstances, there are general red flags to watch out for, including:
Poor Personal Hygiene
Caregivers at nursing home facilities are supposed to be trained in helping seniors get out of bed, take a shower, get dressed, eat, use the restroom, and do other things that help with their personal hygiene. If this doesn’t happen, then a resident may smell, look dirty, develop infections, or have soiled bedding and clothes. If your loved one is showing signs that their personal hygiene is lacking, causing them illness or injury, then you must speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer right away for support.
Signs of Malnutrition
Unless there is a physical condition that causes it, your relative should not appear dehydrated or malnourished when you go to visit them. Sudden changes in weight — such as gaining or losing excessive weight — is not normal. The reason an elder may become malnourished is if there aren’t enough staff to help the large number of residents in the facility. Staff get stretched thin, leaving many residents to fend for themselves or go without food or water for long periods.
Broken bones, head injuries, or bruises can be a serious indication that neglect or abuse is happening. If your loved one gets hurt and cannot explain what happened and the staff seem suspicious or vague, then a deeper investigation may need to happen to ensure they aren’t being mistreated.
Behavioral or Mental Changes
Is your loved one having behavior outbursts? Has a doctor prescribed medication to sedate your relative, and they don’t act the same as they did before? Changes in personality, behavior, and overall demeanor can be signs that something awry is going on behind the scenes. Residents may be fearful of certain caregivers and reluctant to talk with loved ones, closing themselves off from phone calls and visits.
Unsanitary Living Conditions
Nursing homes are required to offer residents a clean and safe living area. If caregivers fail to do so, this may be an indication that a resident is being neglected. Based on federal law, nursing homes must establish and maintain a program for infection control so residents can live in a comfortable, sanitary, and safe environment. Nursing homes must also meet requirements of the state for security and safety measures.