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Understanding signs of nursing home neglect

As loved ones continue to age, placing elderly family members in a nursing home might be a subject of conversation. While the use of nursing homes in Massachusetts and other states in the nation is often an excellent way to ensure loved ones are receiving adequate and continuous care, there are many concerns regarding the level of care they might receive. Nursing home abuse and neglect is a major concern. It is also a factor that might be difficult to spot or prove.

The best way to determine whether a loved one is a victim of nursing home mistreatment is by understanding the signs of nursing home neglect. This could help family members file a cause of action and prove the existence of elder abuse or neglect. It could also help the victim and their loved ones recover compensation for their losses and damages arising from nursing home neglect.

Bedsores or pressure sores are common signs of neglect. This indicates a lack of movement, meaning that loved ones have remained in the same position for extended periods. The lack of movement could also lead to other serious medical conditions, and if the nursing facility fails to ensure adequate movement of their tenants, this could be considered neglect and abuse.

Excessive or unexplained bruising could signify abuse or neglect. While elderly patients are more prone to bruises due to the changes in skin with age, excessive bruising could indicate that a fall occurred. If a nursing home does not properly safeguard the facility to prevent falls, this could be a sign of neglect.

Lastly, if loved ones notice a sudden emotional change of an elderly family member living at a nursing home facility, this could be a sign of emotional distress caused by verbal abuse, lack of social interaction, improper nutrition and hygiene and other forms of neglect.

If there are signs or indications of nursing home abuse or neglect, loved ones should understand their rights and options. This could mean initiating a thorough investigation of the facility and the staff. Loved ones should learn more about their legal rights and remedies so they can take the appropriate steps to protect the lives of elderly family members.

Source: The Global Dispatch, "Stopping Nursing Home Neglect," Adam Lee, Feb. 24, 2015

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