Quite often, when a loved one is no longer able to care for themselves, the only viable option available to the family is to place them in a nursing home. however, once the transition has been made to a nursing facility, how do you know if your loved one is being properly cared for? what do you do if you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect at the hands of the doctors, nurses or other staff members at the nursing home? As a family member it is important to know some common signs of abuse and neglect that may occur in a nursing home.
Bedsores – According to the Mayo Clinic .bedsores are injuries to skin and underlying tissue that result from prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores are most often associated with patients who are confined to a bed, but they can also develop on the heels, ankles, hips or buttocks of people who have restricted mobility, such as patients confined to a wheelchair. Bedsores can be avoided by frequently changing the position of patients that have restricted mobility to avoid constant pressure on areas of their body which comes from not being able to move themselves. if your loved one is suffering from bedsores it could be a sign of neglect.
Broken Bones – Elderly people can be more susceptible to broken bones and fractures due to diminished bone density, but these types of injuries can be caused by abuse or neglect as well. if a nursing home resident is not being properly monitored or cared for and falls or experiences some type of traumatic injury which results in broken or fractured bones, this may constitute neglect. if a broken bone is directly caused by an action of an employee of the home, it is most likely abuse. It is important that you contact the proper authorities immediately if you suspect abuse or neglect.
Malnutrition – Malnutrition can be caused by an illness that the patient or resident of a nursing home suffers from, but if no such illness has been previously diagnosed and documented and malnutrition is evident it could be due to neglect or abuse by the nursing home staff. the person suffering from malnutrition may be experiencing intentional refusal by the nursing home or staff to the proper amount or quality of food they require on a daily basis. It may also be a case that they are being intentionally starved in order to punish them, or some other form of extremely inappropriate and dangerous behavioral abuse committed by the staff. if you believe that your loved one is suffering from malnutrition you should consult with a doctor outside of the nursing home in order to receive an independent appraisal and diagnosis of potential malnutrition. if the doctor feels that the patient is not receiving the correct nutritional support they require and malnutrition is evident, contact the authorities immediately, and then contact an attorney as well.
Making the life-altering decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be a phenomenally difficult and emotional task. you shouldn’t have to worry about their safety and well-being once they have been entrusted to the care of a nursing facility. be watchful for signs of abuse and neglect, and if possible, visit your loved one often. Show-up on different days at different times so you can observe and get an idea as to what kind of treatment and support they are receiving during different days and times of the week. if you observe any of these signs of nursing home neglect or abuse in a loved one who it is important that you contact the staff and administration of the facility immediately. if you do not receive the answers or attention you feel are required then notify the proper city, county and health authorities, and immediately contact an attorney that can provide the best assistance in legal support and representation for your loved one during their time of need.