Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence

It’s a passing thought, a nagging feeling, a little voice that’s keeping you up at night, telling you that something is just not right. If you have a parent or loved one residing at a nursing home, it’s not something you should shrug off or dismiss, because in many cases, there’s a real reason for concern.

Nursing home negligence is a significant issue that puts many of America’s elderly and infirm in real jeopardy. There are plenty of reasons why it’s happening, but in most cases, the problem can be traced back to staffing shortages. With too few people and waiting lists to get into long-term care residences, background checks are haphazardly conducted and training is insufficient. Caregivers who are overworked and assigned to too many residents lose their tempers and treat the people in their care poorly, and unsupervised individuals with ill intent can do worse.

When you suspect nursing home negligence, don’t tell yourself that you’re overreacting. Instead, familiarize yourself and other family members with the warning signs and keep your eyes and ears open. At the first sign that your suspicions are right, you need to act to protect your loved one from harm. Red flags include:

  • Resident displaying poor hygiene, including not being bathed, unbrushed teeth, unwashed clothing
  • Loss of mobility, especially if resident is left in bed or in a wheelchair for an extended period instead of being encouraged to walk or engage in activities
  • Fear of caregivers, reluctance to speak in front of caregivers, rocking, silence, anxiety, or depression
  • Signs of inadequate nutrition or dehydration
  • Bedsores
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Unsanitary condition of room, bedding, clothing, public areas

Nursing home negligence can take many forms, and all of them can lead to significant damage to individuals who are already vulnerable and frail. Failure to provide the medical care that is needed can lead to worsening of chronic conditions, while neglect of basic needs can lead to malnutrition. Patients who are incontinent who are left in adult diapers for too long or whose sheets aren’t changed can suffer from breakdown of their skin which can quickly grow into serious and even life-threatening wounds. Perhaps worst of all, social neglect can lead to depression and a sense of isolation.

If you have a loved one who is living in a long-term care facility or nursing home and you are concerned about the care that they are receiving, our nursing home negligence attorneys can help. Contact us today to learn more.