Incidents of Nursing Home Neglect: What to Look Out for in Your Loved One

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The decision to place someone you love in a nursing home doesn’t come easy. It means putting the responsibility of caring for a loved one in another person’s hand. 

Nursing Home Neglect

While nursing home employees may have the training, skills, and experience needed to provide care for residents, they do not always stick to the code of conduct. As a result, incidents of nursing home neglect are quite prevalent, with roughly 32,000 cases reported in Pennsylvania every year.

Therefore, you must know what to look for in your loved ones to ensure that they get the care they deserve while in a nursing home. 

Suspecting Nursing Home Abuse?

Nobody wakes up and decides to take their loved one to a particular nursing home. The process often starts with hours or even days of research before settling for one. 

Unfortunately, it is easy to be won over by the inviting appearance of a nursing home and fail to detect its rot. Once you place your loved one in such a place, it does not take long for you to see the impact the stay at that particular nursing home has on your loved one.

Remember, a change of environment can cause a little bit of stress to your loved one. But if apparent signs point to neglect, it is essential not to take them lightly. 

The best place to start when investigating suspected abuse or neglect of your loved one is to collect all the physical evidence available. Once you get proof, the next step should be contacting a nursing home lawyer such as for a case evaluation.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Physical Injuries

Physical injuries such as bruising, swelling, scrapes, cuts, and broken bones should be a major red flag. A person could suffer a bruise once in a while, especially in old age. But if the bruises appear frequently and in odd places, you should be suspicious. 

Physical injuries could result from physical abuse directed at a nursing home resident. Sometimes, the unavailability of personnel can also result in an accident and possible injuries, especially in a resident who needs assistance getting around.

Poor Hygiene

Hygiene is critical for nursing home residents considering their age and thus a compromised immune system. Signs of poor hygiene include unkempt hair, dirty or torn clothes, dirty beddings, bedsores, unpleasant smells, and general unsanitary living conditions. 

Poor hygiene can manifest in the resident catching infections from time to time. If poor hygiene is noticeable, you may want to document it by taking pictures or video footage of the condition as evidence if you intend to file a lawsuit. 

Malnutrition and Dehydration

Different nursing home residents require varying levels of care. Some nursing homes even charge extra fees if a resident needs extra care. Your responsibility to your loved ones is to pay for the care you want them to receive. 

Unfortunately, not all nursing home workers want to deal with difficult residents and sometimes fail to take the necessary care or even deny the care to punish a resident. 

A good example is when your loved one needs help eating and is difficult to work with. In such a case, there is a possibility that the caregiver may neglect their duty of feeding them, resulting in malnutrition and dehydration. A dry mouth, cracked or dried lips and sudden weight loss are some of the signs that can help you identify possible malnutrition and dehydration. 

Improper Attire for the Weather

Extreme weather conditions can have a significant toll on the elderly. It is the responsibility of nursing home caregivers to ensure that residents are appropriately dressed for the weather. 

For example, you expect your loved one to have warm clothes during the cold weather, especially if they are venturing outside, and light clothes for the warmer seasons. Inappropriate attire is a sign of neglect that you can use as evidence of neglect if it harms your loved one. 

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