If you have a loved one living in an assisted living facility, you might be concerned about nursing home abuse.
While nursing homes are meant to be a safe place for our loved ones who need assistance, it’s not entirely uncommon for some of our elderly loved ones to experience neglect and abuse. If you’re suspecting any neglect or abuse, keep reading to learn what some of the signs are and what you can do to remedy the problem.
Most Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
While abuse and neglect can demonstrate themselves in many different ways, there are some commonly known signs of abuse occurring in a nursing home. Here is our list of significant signs that indicate abuse:
- Poor Personal Hygiene – If your loved one is in a nursing facility, it’s likely because they cannot maintain some of their basic hygiene. Nurses and certified nursing assistants are employed by nursing homes to assist in keeping up their patient’s daily hygiene. If you notice that your loved one’s hygiene has been declining, it may be a sign of neglect.
- Sudden Weight Loss – As our bodies age, we can often lose our appetites and, as a result, start to lose weight; however, sudden and extreme weight loss is likely a sign of malnutrition and dehydration. Lack of feeding is a severe type of neglect and abuse, and it should be addressed as soon as you notice it.
- Disorientation From Too Much Medication or Lack Thereof – Our relatives and loved ones are usually on some form of medication in their old age. If a nurse is not taking proper precautions to ensure that their nursing home residents are getting the right amount of drugs at the right time, that is a major red flag. Symptoms of disorientation and declining cognitive abilities will appear if your loved one’s medication schedule is inconsistent.
- Bodily Harm – Harm that is caused to the body can consist of anything from cuts and bruises to broken and fractured bones. If you’re noticing injuries that appear between your visits, there’s a possibility it was due to physical abuse from a nursing home staff member. Bodily harm can also be a result of neglect. If the nursing home staff is not aware of your relative or loved one, he or she may attempt to do things on their own, which can cause them to fall or hurt themselves.
How Can You Help Your Loved One?
If you suspect nursing home abuse, you should immediately talk to the nursing facility staff. Bring up your concerns and ask them what is happening. If you do not see a change in behavior or treatment, there is a good chance abuse, and neglect is both present and intentional. Make sure to document everything that sounds like abuse or neglect and report it to the proper authorities, such as the police and Adult Protective Services. If the situation gets out of hand, consider a lawyer who can help you and your loved one fight for compensation and better care.
Flickinger Sutterfield and Boulton Can Help
Keep your eye out for any of the above signs or other signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you suspect abuse, it should never be ignored. At Flickinger Sutterfield and Boulton, we believe that your elderly loved ones are entitled to the nursing home care they need and deserve. That’s why we help you fight for proper care and compensation. With multiple offices in Utah, including West Jordan, Orem, Saratoga Springs, and Provo, we are dedicated to giving you the best legal advice and representation. Contact us today for more information and a free evaluation.