What Are The Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
When a nursing home is suspected of neglect, it can be hard to prove that the injuries or other harm were directly related to the intentional or unintentional acts of the facility. Many signs of neglect are also common complaints of the elderly: falls, weight changes, and depression are good examples.
Because nursing home neglect is both frequent and difficult to prove, it’s vital that as a family member you familiarize yourself with the types and warning signs of neglect. Just as important, you should know the steps to take if you suspect that your loved one is a victim of neglect.
4 basic types of nursing home neglect
- Medical neglect: when the nursing home fails to adequately treat or prevent the patient’s medical concerns, including provisional care for diabetes, bed sores, infections, cognitive disorders, mobility issues, and lacerations.
- Neglect of basic needs: occurs when the facility fails to provide the patient with a reasonable amount of food and water or a safe and clean environment.
- Neglect of personal hygiene: the nursing home is responsible for providing adequate assistance to residents for their hygiene needs, including bathing, brushing their teeth, laundry, cleaning, and other hygiene-related activities.
- Social or emotional neglect: most often occurs when the nursing home staff yells at, ignores, or causes the patient to be isolated from interaction with others.
Warning signs of nursing home neglect
Since nursing home neglect can come in many forms, the signs of nursing home neglect can cover a wide array of physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Warning signs of nursing home neglect can include these and other symptoms:
- New or increased pain complaints
- Bed sores
- Decline in mental acuity
- Sudden change in behavior
- Refusal to speak or interact with staff
- Unsanitary conditions
- Frequent infections
- Sudden weight loss
What to do if you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse
If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, it’s important to take immediate action. Calling the Deuterman Law Group can help you get the process started quickly and effectively. Please keep the following steps in mind to help your family member remain safe, and to build a case against the nursing home:
- Speak to the resident directly and try to verify the abuse or neglect
- Stay calm
- Write down the names of the staff members involved and take notes of any relevant conversations with them about the allegations, including date and time
- If physical abuse, sexual abuse, or theft of personal belongings is suspected, contact the police immediately
- Relocate the resident to a different nursing home
- If there is a medical emergency, call 911 and have the patient transported to the hospital for care
If you find you need a lawyer when you’ve discovered nursing home abuse or neglect, we’re here to help. Contact the Deuterman Law Group today for a free consultation.