When you make the decision to put your loved one in a nursing home it is not a decision entered into lightly. It can be even more heartbreaking when you hear about elderly nursing home abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Nursing home abuse attorneys and others with experience with elderly nursing home abuse recommend that you look for the following warning signs:
1. Bumps and Bruises: Any evidence of physical abuse, such as bumps and bruises which are unexplained and unreported are cause for concern. If your loved one experiences a fall and sustains bruising, a report should be made. Additionally, if you ask your loved one about bumps or bruises and they cannot or will not tell you where they came from, that may be a sign of elderly nursing home abuse.
2. Depression: A certain period of adjustment when moving to a nursing home setting is normal. However, if your loved one becomes severely depressed or withdrawn you need to find out why.
3. Rapid Weight Loss or Gain: Significant changes in weight over a short period of time can signal different things including depression or improper medicine management. Issues with medicine dosing are especially concerning because while most likely not intentional, errors with over or under dosing can be fatal. Both may be signs of neglect in nursing homes.
4. Poor Personal Hygiene: If your loved one’s personal hygiene appears to be suffering, that is cause for concern about neglect in nursing homes. If resident appears unwashed or if their clothes are dirty and have not been changed, these are warning signs. Likewise if the towels or bed linens in their room have an odor or staining and appear not to have been cleaned in awhile.
5. Bedsores and Infections: Unfortunately, many people move to nursing homes because they are bedridden or are unable to get in and out of bed without assistance. For this reason, it is important that staff members regularly shift the patients to prevent bedsores and infections. If your loved one has bed sores or an infection that could have been prevented, most likely they are suffering from neglect in the nursing home, however inadvertent.
If you are concerned that your loved one may be suffering from elderly nursing home abuse or neglect in nursing homes, you need to take immediate action. Contact your local state agency to make a report and considering meeting with a nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your further options.