Placing a loved one in the care of a nursing home can be worrisome, especially if you suspect they are being neglected. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) states that almost 95% of nursing home residents have been neglected.
What is Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is a form of elder abuse where older adults are ignored and not cared for properly. It involves a breach of duty or substandard care that may result in harm. Nursing home neglect occurs due to understaffed facilities, inadequate training, and negligent hiring practices.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
There are four types of nursing home neglect:
Neglect of basic needs: A failure to provide food, water, or a clean, safe environment for elders.
Neglect of medical needs: Not providing medical assistance which results in bedsores, infections, mobility issues, diabetic incidents, and other health issues.
Personal hygiene: Failing to help older adults with dental care, bathing, and laundry.
Emotional neglect: Nursing home residents are ignored, left alone, or treated unkindly without any social interaction.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Keep an eye out for these red flags that indicate the possibility of neglect.
Poor hygiene: Older adults need help with bathing, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed. If you notice that your loved one looks dirty or unkempt, this could indicate neglect.
Unsanitary living conditions: Nursing home facilities should provide clean bedding, clean rooms, and common areas. Watch out for any pest or rodent problems or mold.
Loss or lack of mobility: If your loved one is less mobile and seems to have weak muscles, it could be an indication of neglect.
Weight loss or malnutrition: Malnutrition results when residents do not get meals or drinks when they should.
Unexplained injuries or frequent illness: Elder abuse is common in nursing homes. Keep an eye out for frequent bruises, falls, broken bones, or other injuries.
Emotional issues: Anxiety, depression, and anger can also be indications of poor treatment.