Let’s face it, placing a loved one in a nursing home can feel like a gamble.
After all, studies have found that 1 in 10 seniors will experience a form of elder abuse. Unfortunately, many seniors who voice their experiences with nursing home neglect are disregarded. Instead, their concerns are chalked up to an aging mind and even spurts of dementia.
When it comes to nursing home neglect, it’s important to understand that this neglect may come in various forms. This could be anything from emotional and physical neglect to passive neglect and deprivation.
If you’re considering placing your loved one in a nursing home, you’re going to want to read this. We’re uncovering seven signs of nursing home neglect that everyone should be aware of. When browsing different homes, knowing which signs to look out for will be incredibly helpful.
- Physical Marks
First things first, it’s crucial to be aware of any unexpected physical markings on your loved one.
This may come in the form of anything from bruises and welts to cuts and scratches. If your loved one is unable to explain where they’ve come from, this could signal the possibility of physical abuse.
However, it’s also important to note that signs of physical abuse can be found in broken objects such as eyeglasses or clothing. You’re also going to want to watch for unexpectedly broken bones or unexplainable injuries.
At the end of the day, physical neglect calls for further action. If you’re noticing physical marks, you’re going to want to move forward in calling a local attorney. With this, your attorney can advise you on how to proceed and the best steps to take for correction.
- Unusual Behaviour
Has your loved one been exhibiting unusual behavior?
Maybe they’re quieter and more confidential than usual. Or, perhaps they’re showing signs of timidness and fearfulness. Either way, these changes in behavior must be monitored and taken seriously.
To start, be sure to discuss these changes with your loved one. You can also ask a trusted staff member if they, too, have noticed these changes in behavior. If these changes continue, it could be a sign of nursing home neglect.
- An Unkempt Environment
One of the most common and telling signs of nursing home neglect is an unkempt environment.
In order for the residents to be properly cared for, it’s crucial for the nursing home environment to be clean and organized. Not only can a lack of tidiness be detrimental to the mind, but it’s also unsafe for residents.
If you’re noticing that your loved one’s nursing home is dirty and unorganized, this may be a sign of nursing home neglect. If the staff are unable to properly care for the physical environment, it’s unlikely they’re able to properly care for the residents themselves.
- Lack of Proper Utilities
When you visit the nursing home, you’ll want to take notice of which utilities are available and being used.
Is there proper lighting? Is it warm enough during the colder months? Is it too hot in the middle of summer?
In keeping their residents as happy and healthy as possible, nursing homes must provide their residents with proper utilities. This includes utilities in common rooms as well as their own private residence.
- Physical Changes
Does your loved one appear weak and frail?
Of course, certain medical conditions and old age can result in sudden weight loss and a frail appearance. However, you should always be keeping track of how your loved one appears physically.
Are they keeping weight on? Do they look more frail and discolored than usual?
If you’re witnessing sudden changes to their physical body, it could signal that they’re not eating enough. In some cases, this might be because the staff isn’t providing adequate food options or taking the necessary measures to feed them. If a patient is a notoriously poor eater, a neglectful staff member may avoid feeding them altogether.
Don’t hesitate to ask your loved one about the food that they consume. If you notice any red flags, be sure to address these issues with a trusted staff member.
- Insufficient Staff
Is the nursing home adequately staffed?
With over 39.5 million Americans over the age of 65, there’s a steady demand for senior care workers. Unfortunately, filling and maintaining these positions isn’t always easy. As a result, many nursing homes don’t have enough staff to take care of the residents.
When this happens, residents are often left to fend for themselves and their daily care is minimized. When you’re paying for and relying on the nursing home staff, this is simply unacceptable.
If you feel that your loved one’s nursing home is lacking staff, be sure to voice your opinions to a trusted staff member.
- Lack of Services Available
Which services are available to your loved one at their nursing home?
Generally speaking, nursing homes strive to provide their residents with a happy and engaging environment. The goal is to ease the transition between their past life and their new life at the nursing home.
With this, services such as gaming rooms and fitness rooms are common in nursing homes. These services show that staff members care enough about their residents to provide a nurturing and entertaining environment.
If your loved one’s nursing home doesn’t provide such additional services, this could signal further issues. After all, you want to feel confident that the nursing home is willing to invest in the wellbeing of the home.
The Telltale Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Are you tempted to report nursing home neglect?
Let’s face it, growing old in a new environment can be difficult enough for seniors. In order to ensure that your loved one is as happy and cared for as possible, it’s crucial to monitor their wellbeing. This is why knowing the signs and symptoms of nursing home neglect is so critical.
With this, you’ll know exactly what to look out for when visiting your loved one. If these signs present themselves, you can voice your concerns or choose to move forward with a civil action.
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