While most nursing homes dedicate themselves to providing excellent care for their residents, some facilities have problems maintaining an adequate level of care. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect of nursing home residents continue to happen in care facilities across the country. Some of the reasons for this include:
- Hiring of underqualified personnel
- Lack of proper supervision
Here are some signs that point to the possibility of nursing home abuse or neglect.
If your loved one has minimal mobility due to disability or extended recovery time from a surgery or illness, developing a bedsore can be a possibility. Bedsores that continue to get worse can be an indication that a patient is not being repositioned enough. It is vital to have proper care for a bedsore because of the life-threatening risk of infection.
Dramatic changes in behavior
A dramatic change in behavior may mean that there is something in your loved one’s environment or that is greatly distressing them. Sudden withdrawal, frequent crying or fearful behavior may be a sign of abusive treatment by staff.
An increase in falls
Many seniors have a reduction in balance and experience an occasional fall. When a nursing home resident falls frequently, it can be a sign of a lack of staff supervision or safety measures.
Noticeable weight loss
A loved one’s sharp drop in weight can indicate that something is wrong with the food or its delivery. If a noticeable loss of weight has happened recently, the dietary staff needs to swiftly address the matter with a dietitian evaluation. There may need to be multiple solutions implemented such as:
- More assistance at meals
- A change in the texture of the food
- An increase in higher-calorie foods that appeal to the patient
If you suspect that your loved one experienced abuse or neglect, document your concerns and what you witnessed and talk to the administrator of the facility. There are also local resources to help elders. Of course, if you feel that there is a possibility of immediate danger, call the police immediately.