When you make the difficult decision to move a loved one into a nursing home, you trust that the people caring for him or her will do a good job. After all, the nursing home hired them, so they must be capable and have the proper skills and training, right?
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes, nursing homes and their employees do not have the proper skills, training, or supervision. This leads to nursing home neglect. So what can you do? How do you protect your loved one? Awareness is one of the most important ways that you can protect your loved one. Be aware that nursing home neglect exists, and know the signs so you can take action quickly.
Put together by a Douglasville nursing home injury lawyer, here are some signs of nursing home neglect you shouldn’t ignore.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
There is more than one type of nursing home neglect, so you should be aware of the signs of each type:
If you notice any of the following, your loved one may be experiencing medical neglect:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Untreated medical conditions
Neglect of Basic Needs
Neglect of basic needs is one of the most tragic types of nursing home neglect. Be aware of the following signs that your loved one is being denied:
- A safe place to call their own
- A clean general environment
- Personal care
Neglect of Personal Hygiene
Nursing home residents often need assistance with personal hygiene. Neglect may be occurring if your loved one is not receiving assistance with:
- Caring for teeth and oral hygiene
- Dressing appropriately for the season
- Maintaining clean and healthy skin
- Maintaining a clean and sanitary bathroom
Social or Emotional Neglect
As human beings, we all need socialization and experiences that bring us emotional joy and wellbeing. Sadly, one type of nursing home neglect is neglect of social or emotional needs. This includes:
- Being left alone for long periods of time
- Being treated unkindly by nursing home staff
- Being ignored by staff
- Staff responding angrily, yelling or belittling the resident
- A lack of social activities
- A general lack of emotional care from staff
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is a tragic reality for thousands of nursing home residents. As you can see, there are numerous ways that nursing home residents may be neglected by nursing home staff and other caregivers.
Fortunately, as a family member, there are some things that you can do if you suspect nursing home neglect. This includes:
- Visit the nursing home regularly
- Voice concerns to staff if you notice something “off”
- If the staff seems to be ignoring your concerns, talk to an administrator
- If the nursing home does not address your concerns, contact Adult Protective Services (APS) or your local long-term care ombudsman for help.
If you suspect nursing home neglect, you may also find it helpful to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. A nursing home abuse lawyer is a lawyer who has specialized skills and experience related to nursing homes, resident rights, and how to ensure that nursing home residents are safe. Nursing home neglect falls under the umbrella of personal injury law, so a nursing home abuse lawyer will be well-versed in applicable state laws relating to personal injury cases. This is a valuable means of support if you are concerned about abuse or neglect.