We trust assisted living care facilities and nursing homes to care for our most vulnerable loved ones, those who have become unable to care for themselves. We expect that the medical professionals who run these facilities will provide the necessary support and care.
Usually, these facilities perform admirably. Unfortunately when the facilities fail to meet their obligations, the consequences can be tragic. Moreover, it can be difficult to recognize that the facilities are not providing proper care, as elderly residents may be unable or unwilling to speak up.
Accordingly, it is important for guests and visitors to look carefully for signs of abuse or neglect. What signs might indicate inadequate or abusive care?
- Bedsores or frozen joints: If a nursing home resident is not moving frequently enough, either independently or with the assistance of a caregiver, the resident may develop bedsores or frozen joints.
- Bruises, cuts, sprains or fractures: Although those in nursing homes are often more vulnerable and more likely to develop injuries than others, caregivers should be able to explain these injuries. If injuries cannot be explained, this may indicate nursing home abuse.
- Malnutrition or dehydration: Nursing home residents must be closely monitored to ensure that they are receiving adequate nutrition; if a resident becomes dehydrated or suffers from malnutrition, this may indicate neglect.
- Change in mood: A sudden change in disposition may indicate emotional abuse or neglect; patients may not be willing or able to discuss abuse or neglect, but drastic changes in a patient’s mood may warrant further investigation.
- Poor personal hygiene: Many nursing home residents require assistance to maintain basic hygiene; poor personal care may indicate neglect.
Anytime something seems suspicious, it warrants further investigation. Our elderly loved ones rely on us to advocate for their interests. If you suspect that a loved one is not receiving proper care, don’t hesitate to ask questions. For more information regarding your legal rights and remedies, speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer.