Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a major nationwide problem, leading to the death or injury of some of the most vulnerable members of society. Abuse or neglect can occur either deliberately or, more often than not, as a result of inadequate and poorly trained staff. Either way, it is unacceptable. It is important to regularly visit your elderly loved one to ensure he or she is being well cared for. Here is a list of some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect that you should be aware of:

  1. Poor Hygiene: Many elderly patients are physically incapable of taking care of their basic hygienic needs. As such, nurses and other staff are expected to assist them. This includes helping them brush their teeth, get dressed, clip nails, comb their hair, and more. When patients are neglected, you will notice their unkempt appearance, dirty clothing, and other noticeable deficiencies. This is often a result of lack of formally educated staff who might not understand proper health care. Routine dental care is particularly a serious issue in nursing homes throughout the country.
  2. Unsanitary Living Conditions: The facility itself must be kept clean and safe for residents. If the conditions of the facility are poor, it is likely the patients also are being neglected and not well cared for. Federal law requires nursing home facilities to provide and maintain and safe and sanitary environment, so if you notice these requirements are not being met, it is important to report it.
  3. Malnutrition: Poor nutrition is another widespread issue that affects millions of nursing home residents in the United States and can lead to serious physical issues. It can occur due to a lack of oversight, through deliberate actions, or even as a result of a patient’s medical problems such as depression or difficulty swallowing. If it is the latter, nursing staff should be aware of the patient’s issues and effectively address them.
  4. Lack of Mobility: Nursing home residents often have difficulty with mobility. A quality nursing home will have staff who not only assists patients in moving around, but also encourages exercise and other activities to keep them mobile and healthy. Good facilities provide walking programs for patients that allow them to build muscle tone and strength, improve circulation, and reduce spasms. If your loved one is being restricted to his or her bed, there is a risk of immobility, bedsores, and other infections.
  5. Unexplained Injuries: If your loved one suffers from injuries like broken bones, bruises, or head injuries, this is a big red flag that he or she is being abused or neglected. While these injuries are not necessarily caused by a staff member physically harming them, a neglected resident is likely to have accidents due to a lack of aid and assistance. Falls are especially common among the elderly and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 1,800 adults living in nursing homes die every year from fall-related injuries.
  6. Psychological Issues: Abuse and neglect often extend beyond the physical and can have serious psychological ramifications. Residents might become develop a fear of their caregivers and hesitant to voice the issues they are facing, leading to anger, stress, and resentment. If you notice your loved one is growing increasingly distant and irritable, or suffering from depression, this might be a sign of neglect or abuse and should be addressed immediately.

If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, contact the local authorities.

Springfield Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

We cannot always provide the care our elderly relative require, which is why we occasionally must place our trust in nursing home facilities to provide the expert services necessary to ensure a healthy and happy life for our loved ones. These facilities are meant to be a place of care and comfort, but can turn out to be the opposite, betraying the trust of their residents and the families who care for them.

Contact us today at (417) 855-2022 for a free consultation.