As a relative or friend of an elderly individual, you want to make sure your loved one is doing well in their daily life and are receiving quality care at the nursing home where they live. You understand that they are aging and that their health may be deteriorating, but you also know that elder neglect happens.
You can check on your loved one by looking for these common signs of nursing home neglect:
Living in a fully staffed facility usually means that nursing home residents aren’t responsible for taking their own showers or cleaning their own clothes. So, if you notice your loved one’s hygiene seems off, maybe their body odor is strong or their clothes seem dirty, then this might signal a larger neglect issue.
Questionable physical injuries
Maybe your relative or friend’s hygiene seems healthy, but they have cuts or bruises that they can’t explain or that happen due to consistent tripping a falling. This might mean that the staff is providing insufficient or delayed care. Bed sores are also a sign that your loved one might be facing neglect.
Deteriorating mental health
Sometimes there is no outer indication of abuse, rather your loved one feels sad or depressed — a major change from their usual mental health state. This can happen because when a caregiver avoids looking after or interacting with a resident, they can go hours, days or weeks with very minimal human interaction. It can also happen because a caregiver makes a resident feel unsafe by constantly raising their voice or getting angry with them.
As you evaluate your loved one’s care, it’s important to keep in mind that neglect comes in many forms. You should also remember that your concerns for your loved one are valid. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that 95% of nursing home residents have been a victim or neglect or seen neglect happen where they live.
Nursing home neglect happens due to a variety of reasons. Whether the root cause is an unstable caregiver, improper training or understaffing, an experienced attorney can help your loved one seek justice and healing.