When we place an elderly loved one into a nursing home, we are putting our trust in the staff to provide him or her with the best care possible. Unfortunately, negligence and abuse among the elderly can happen, and it is up to us to watch out for the signs and to protect our vulnerable loved ones.
If someone you love is in a nursing home, you should make frequent visits at different times of the day so the staff can’t predict your visiting schedule. You should also pay close attention to the way the staff interacts with your loved one as well as other patients in the facility.
It is important to watch out for signs of negligence and mistreatment, including:
- Untreated bedsores
- Changes in behavior such as depression, not wanting visitors, withdrawal
- Foul odors such as urine
- Dirty bed sheets or clothes; dirty hair
- Weight loss and other signs of malnourishment
- Unexplained bruises or broken bones
- Heavily medicated
It is also important to pay attention to the way your loved one behaves around the staff members. Does he or she seem to like them? Does he or she seem edgy or frightened when they are around? Does the staff refuse to let you visit with your loved one alone?
Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is difficult and emotional enough. It can take weeks or months to find the right place, and sometimes, even with all the research, we may make the wrong decision. But, it is up to us to protect our loved ones and to watch out for any signs of mistreatment. In many cases our loved ones may not be able to communicate abuse or they may be too ashamed to do so.
If you even suspect that something may not be right, you owe it to yourself and your loved one to contact an attorney who will investigate the situation to determine if maltreatment has occurred. The Miami nursing home abuse lawyers at Baron, Herskowitz, and Cohen are experienced in cases involving nursing home abuse and negligence and can help you. To learn more, contact us today.