Placing a loved one in a nursing home when his or her medical needs become too complex to be managed at home is never easy but may become necessary. Despite the best of intentions, family members are often ill-equipped to provide the level of care that is required.
Tragically, too many residents of long-term care centers and nursing homes are subjected to horrific abuse and callous neglect by those tasked with providing them care. Below are some signs that your vulnerable loved one may have been mistreated or neglected.
Unsanitary living conditions
Under federal law, nursing homes must “establish and maintain an infection control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment in which residents reside.” If the bedding isn’t changed frequently or your loved one’s clothing is dirty, that may be an indication that the standards are not being upheld. Kitchen areas and bathrooms should be well-maintained and cleaned daily as well.
Poor personal hygiene
If your loved one is in a nursing home, he or she likely needs some assistance to maintain personal hygiene. Residents often need help with the following basic hygiene tasks:
- Brushing teeth or cleaning dentures
- Clipping finger- and toenails
- Washing and styling hair
Staff shortages can cause residents to be neglected, which results in poor hygiene. Through no faults of their own, the residents may have body odor and look unkempt.
Dehydration and malnutrition can result from nursing home neglect. Some industry data suggests that roughly 20 percent of nursing home residents are malnourished. Residents who suffer from depression are at particular risk.
These are just some of many potential red flags that could indicate abuse and/or neglect. Without intervention, your loved one could face an untimely death. If you are faced with this situation, you may choose to take legal action against the perpetrators.
Source: Next Avenue, “6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect,” Sarah Blanchard, accessed Feb. 02, 2018