Placing a loved one in a nursing home is never an easy step to take. However, many individuals in Massachusetts must take this step to help aging loved ones recover from an injury or a surgery or even obtain the necessary daily care and needs. No matter the reason for placing an elderly family member in a nursing home facility or the length of time he or she will spend there, it is important to gain a full and accurate picture of the care they will receive and the environment they will live in. While most places are more than adequate, some do not only fail to meet the health and safety needs of the residents but also result in serious incidents of abuse and neglect.
How can you spot the red flags of nursing home neglect? While there is a broad range of signs and symptoms of nursing home neglect and abuse, this post will discuss the six major signs. The first is poor personal hygiene. This can typically be easily spotted, especially if nursing home nurses and staff are not properly and timely helping residents with needs such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, clipping their nails and tending to their hair.
The second red flag is unsanitary living conditions. Nursing home residents have the rights to safe and clean living conditions, and if a facility fails to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment, this could be a sign of neglect. A third red flag is physical issues from lack of nutrition. Malnutrition and dehydration could occur due to oversight or negligent staff. Whatever the cause, this could present serious harm to a resident.
A fourth red flag is loss or lack of mobility. Although mobility is often challenging for nursing home residents, a good and adequate nursing home will ensure that staff is helping residents move around, obtain exercise and remain active. A fourth red flag is unexplained injuries. This includes broken bones, bruises and head injuries. These could be the result of falls from unsafe conditions or even abuse from staff. Lastly, the sixth red flag is psychological issues.
While there are some clear signs and red flags of nursing home abuse and neglect, it is not always easy to spot or believe that such a situation is occurring. Nonetheless, it is important to understand the rights of nursing home residents and that there are options if neglect or abuse are occurring. A civil action could help an individual collect compensation for serious injuries suffered and damages incurred.
Source: Nextavenue.org, "6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect," Sarah Blanchard, Feb. 18, 2016