The decision to place your loved ones in a nursing home is often a difficult one. Of course, you’ve done everything possible to ensure that they’ll receive the care and attention they need to thrive in their new setting—but unfortunately, not all nursing homes provide the standard of care that you’d expect.
When you’re not able to be there frequently with your loved one, how can you tell whether the nursing home or assisted living facility is taking good care of them? There are some signs you can watch for to help you determine the level of care they’re receiving, and whether they’re experiencing abuse or neglect from caregivers.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
It’s an unfortunate fact that some nursing home caregivers neglect those in their charge, for a variety of reasons. Neglect occurs when the needs of nursing home patients are not tended to, which can cause illness, injury, or even death.
Dehydration and malnourishment are the most common forms of neglect in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Approximately 14,000 residents of nursing homes died from 1999 to 2002 as a result of these conditions.
Some other signs of possible nursing home neglect include:
- Poor hygiene
- Bed sores or ulcers
- Substandard living conditions
- Reclusive, disturbed, or visibly depressed behavior
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse of the elderly is a disturbing thought, but it does unfortunately happen. Nursing home abuse may be physical, but there is also emotional and financial abuse that can occur in some residences.
You may suspect nursing home abuse if you notice any of these signs:
- Unexplained injuries or fractures
- Complaints of pain or other impairment with no obvious cause
- Drastic changes in temperament or emotional state
- Poor hygiene or soiling
- Sudden, unexplained weight loss or gain
- Listless, unresponsive, or strange behavior
- Rapid or unexplained hair loss
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
If your loved one shows possible signs of abuse or neglect, your first step should be to speak to the management of the nursing home or assisted living facility and register a complaint. If the nursing home staff is uncooperative or if you notice staff behavior such as refusing or delaying access to a patient, or refusing to leave the room while you visit, you may wish to take the process further.
Consulting an experienced nursing home attorney may help you in moving your loved one to a safe facility, and in seeking damages for any pain and suffering a nursing home may have caused. The Miami personal injury attorneys at Baron & Herskowitz have successfully represented multiple clients in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. Contact us to discuss the details of your case today.