If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you doubtless worry about their safety. You know that they are deserving of the utmost care and respect, but you can’t be there at all times to ensure that they are being treated as they should.
Unfortunately, we’ve all heard about cases of elderly abuse and neglect. Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are defined differently. Abuse involves a caregiver purposely harming a person. Neglect, on the other hand, involves breaches of duty that compromise the well-being of the elderly person.
If you’re concerned that your loved one is being mistreated in their nursing home setting, here are some red flags to watch for:
Potential signs of neglect:
- Weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Bedsores or frequent infections
- Slips and falls
- Withdrawn behavior
- Unsanitary conditions in nursing home
- Unsafe conditions in nursing home (obstructions in walkways, poor lighting, slippery floors, etc.)
Potential signs of abuse:
- Changes to your loved ones financial reserves (suggesting that they are being extorted by a caregiver)
- Obvious contention with or aversion to caregivers
- Changes in behavior (to include anxious or withdrawn behavior)
- Unexplained injuries (including bruises, scratches, etc.)
One of these signs in isolation may not indicate abuse or neglect but may simply be happenstance; however, it can alert you to be vigilant in watching for other signs. If you see a pattern of abuse or neglect or warning signs that don’t add up, you may have cause for concern.
Elderly abuse or neglect may be the fault of an individual caregiver. It can also occur due to negligence on the part of nursing home owners or management in the form of understaffing, lack of training, lack of supervision, or absence of sound care-giving protocols.
If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. They can ensure that your loved one receives compensation for the damages that they have suffered and that the care facility is held responsible for their negligence so that they do not continue to harm others.