When you have a loved one in a nursing home, you want to make sure your loved one is being treated properly. They not only need to be getting the nutrition and medications they need, but they also need to be given all the other types of attention they need in order to remain healthy, safe, secure, and emotionally well. This article will provide you with some helpful information on neglect in nursing homes.
If there are clear signs of neglect, then you will likely notice them right away. This information is going to cover the less-obvious signs, so you can catch neglect hopefully before it gets to the point where your loved one is put in a very dangerous situation that can even become life-threatening. Here are some symptoms you want to be aware of.
Symptoms of possible neglect
Bedsores – A nursing home should be sure that your loved one is being rotated according to a schedule in order to prevent bedsores if your loved one can't move on their own. However, in some cases, small bedsores can happen, and the nursing home will need to act quickly and treat it properly to help it heal as quickly as possible. If you do spot a bedsore, make the staff aware and make sure it is tended to correctly and doesn't get worse.
Weight loss – It is normal for some elderly people to lose weight for a number of reasons. In some cases, elderly people lose a lot of their taste abilities, so they no longer enjoy eating, and this can cause some weight loss. However, if you notice a drastic weight drop, you want to talk to someone in charge to see why it's happening and make sure it is not due to neglect and that the situation is addressed and gets better from that point.
Injuries – The elderly can get injured easily. They have thinner skin, they have bones that break easier, and they can have balance and coordination issues. However, you want to address any injury. Make sure you believe the home's claims about how the injury happened and that something has been done to ensure no more injuries will happen due to that cause.
Report obvious neglect and abuse ASAP
If you even suspect any type of neglect, then you are going to want to get to the bottom of things and do everything in your power to ensure that neglect is not happening or will not continue. If there is obvious, serious neglect or abuse, call the police right away. They may have to intervene if the situation is to the point of being a criminal offense. Also, you can call the national number for elder abuse that is 1-800-677-1116 to be directed on where to make a formal complaint and to report the issue. Also, get the number for the local ombudsman from that number and call them to alert them to the situation as well. The ombudsman is an official whose duty it is to investigate complaints against nursing homes to protect those in them.
Keep in mind that most facilities don't take steps to protect against current abuse and neglect unless there has been a formal action against them, so you do need to report the wrongdoing to protect all the other residents, even if your loved one is no longer there.
Call a lawyer
Also, call a nursing home neglect lawyer right away, because they can direct you on the next steps to follow to get your loved one in a safer environment. Plus, your loved one may be entitled to compensation, and depending on your relationship to them, you may be eligible for compensation as well. The lawyer can end up being helpful in a lot of ways that go beyond the case because they can have some great advice for you and know some resources to help.