Nursing home neglect is generally referred to as maltreatment at housing institutions like homes for the elderly, supported living, boarding and retirement homes. As an institutional abuse, this is typically committed by people who have a statutory duty to provide care, treatment, and protection to elderly victims or patients with medical conditions.
In shedding light on these forms of abuse, it is essential to watch out for warning signs of abuse or violence that might be experienced by your loved ones in nursing homes. Additionally, since nursing home staff are sometimes the perpetrators of such violence, members of the family or acquaintances have to identify the abuse and take the necessary legal actions to address such incidents.
However, family members should also note that signs of nursing home neglect can differ from one individual to another, or from one case to another. Since the forms of violence and injuries are broad, it is imperative to recognize that sometimes the warning signals may not necessarily be typical of what one might anticipate in a particular case.
Below are some warning signs that you should take note of, which could signify an incidence of nursing home neglect:
As can be expected with the elderly, deterioration of health and complications associated with aging results in hospitalization. For these cases, you are already primed because you would have recognized that your loved one is not progressing well. In sudden admissions, though, you may not understand what transpired or why.
Although this can happen at times, there should be an explanation. Figure out what caused the sudden hospitalization as early as you can. When you are not able to obtain clarification or receive strange replies to your inquiries, you can not rule out abuse or negligence in nursing homes.
Fractures, abrasions, and bruises are often a direct indication of injuries. Whatever the source of the injury might be, the problem remains as to how your loved one has sustained it – from accident, neglect, or physical aggression.
Another aspect to note is the occurrence of bedsores, as they are almost totally avoidable with careful attention. Thus, the development of bedsores is indeed a warning that your loved one is being neglected and remaining stationary for much too long. This could perhaps be due to the inhuman behavior of someone, or the absence of suitable nursing home personnel.
There cannot be a more obvious indication of deprivation or deliberate abuse than a loss of weight. It is a reasonable notion that your loved one can retain their original weight, or even gain significantly, with a proper and reasonable treatment program.
One factor to recognize is that a common and subtle manifestation of a negligent nursing home service is dehydration. When a nursing home might not have a sufficient range of high-quality workers, patients at that home may not adequately receive all the nutrition or fluids required to stay nourished and hydrated. Meals may also be totally overlooked.
That being said, weight loss can indicate stress, withholding of food, inadequate management of medications, and more. You should act urgently if you have suspicions that these things are occurring in the nursing home where your loved one is staying.
Nursing home workers often use drug inhibitors to make their jobs more straightforward, comfortable, and faster. One indication of this deception is a shift in the awareness or mental state of your loved one, varying between coma or stupor to uncertainty.
What’s more, your loved one should never feel insecure towards any nursing home staff or personnel in any way. Such behavior is particularly true even if the elders have neurological issues. So take their comments seriously, and discuss them jointly with the care home administration.
Although your loved one may not mention anything, try to understand their reactions as the nursing home staff moves around the room. Does your loved one appear to be happy? Or do they seem nervous, afraid, or uncomfortable? If you detect a transition, take prompt measures to ascertain the cause and how to fix
At times, tired and thinly-stretched workers can be inevitable. But should you find the following in a nursing home, they could be warning signs:
Keep in mind that any organization that has a good and committed leadership would not display unsuitable treatment at most times.
On the other hand, if you find that your loved one’s care home is continually recruiting new workers to the extent where none of the workers seem to recognize your loved one, then you need to sign up for a different nursing home. Consistent personnel-resident matching is vital to the quality of services and patient care the elderly receive.
If you believe that your loved one or another patient of a nursing home could be a target of nursing home abuse, violence, or negligence, first try contacting 911 or the nearest law enforcement agency.
Perhaps it might be worth contacting a Nursing Home Lawyer in your community to address your case. Since each state requires specific policies in effect to safeguard nursing home patients, an attorney may help you with documenting violations with the proper state department.
Furthermore, your attorney may also check up on any complaints that have already been submitted to local law enforcement authorities. You and your attorney should also address whether further legal action would be necessary.
Any adverse changes in your loved one’s condition, however minimal, while in a nursing home may signify abuse or negligence. If your loved one begins to exhibit some of the signs mentioned above, or if you note any physical or emotional changes that are not backed up with a clear and acceptable answer, start raising questions. Speak to your loved one, the staff, and the treating doctors. The goal here is to be vigilant on all occasions while being sure that your parent, sibling, or other loved one gets the care they require and deserve.
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