Vulnerable elderly people rely on the staff at nursing home and assisted living facilities to help them remain healthy and happy in their later years. Unfortunately, some nursing homes do not care for their residents in the way they should and ignore their daily needs.
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, more than 15 percent of abuse reported in nursing homes is a result of neglect. What signs may indicate that your loved one has been neglected?
1. Improper medical care
One important way that nursing homes provide for their residents is by assisting them with their medical care. Missed medication doses or unreported illness or injury can be signs that a person’s medical needs have been neglected.
2. Malnutrition, dehydration or unexplained weight changes
If a person grows thin, dehydrated or ill due to a lack of nutritious diet, these could be signs that the staff of a nursing home has not provided residents with adequate food, water or necessary help.
3. Unclean facilities or poor patient hygiene
Not only does a lack of cleanliness indicate that staff has not properly cleaned the facility and assisted patients with their hygiene needs, but it can also be a health risk to patients.
4. Lack of medical or mobility aids
Many patients face additional physical challenges as they grow older. They may rely on hearing aids or glasses to perceive the world around them, walkers or wheelchairs to help them move and a variety of other medical aids. If patients lack these items, it may be the result of the staff ignoring their need.
5. Changes in personality or mood
Nursing homes do not just care for a resident’s physical needs—they must also provide them with the help they need to socialize and maintain their mental health. If patients grow depressed or isolated, it could be a sign that the facility has not helped them meet their social and emotional needs.
While nursing home neglect can have a significant impact on those who experience it, people can also protect their elderly loved ones by identifying potential warning signs and exploring their legal options.