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What are the common signs of nursing home neglect?

Today, it is not uncommon for aging loved ones to temporarily or permanently enter a nursing home facility. Whether they require short-term care following a surgery or injury or reside at a nursing home permanently so they can receive constant care and attention, residents at a nursing home, unfortunately, may not be receiving the care that the individual signed up for.

What are the common signs of nursing home neglect? While nursing home neglect is considered the most common form of elder abuse, loved ones do not often see the signs or discover that it is occurring until it is too late. Therefore, the six most common sign will be discussed.

The first red flag the watch for is personal hygiene. Nurses and other staff members at a nursing home facility are expected to aid residents with basic personal hygiene care. This includes getting dressed, brushing their teeth, clipping their nails, combing their hair and even bathing. If this is neglected, especially when a resident is not capable of doing this on the person's own, this is considered elder abuse.

The second common sign of nursing home neglect is unsanitary living conditions. Because nursing homes are required to provide residents with a safe and clean living environment, if they fail to do so, this could be an indication of neglect. A third sign is physical issues from lack of nutrition. Malnutrition, which could be through deliberate acts of lack of oversight, could cause great harm to nursing home residents.

The fourth common sign is loss or lack of mobility. Nursing home nurses and staff members should help residents move around, exercise and remain as active as possible. If a nursing home facility fails to do so, this could be very detrimental to the resident. An unexplained injury is the fifth sign. This includes broken bones, bruises or head injuries. These injuries are likely the result of lack of care and neglect. Lastly, a psychological issue is the sixth sign. Emotional issues could develop from abuse or neglect.

While there is no one way to identify or prove nursing home abuse or neglect, if you believe that a loved one is suffering because of nursing home neglect or abuse, you have recourse available. You could seek compensation from the negligent party, helping to recover any losses or damages caused by the incident.

Source: Nextavenue.org, "6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect," Sarah Blanchard, Feb. 18, 2016

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