As people enter their twilight years, they often need additional assistance. Dressing themselves, bathing, remembering to take necessary medications and many other daily tasks can become a challenge. Those in care facilities rely on staff to help them perform these routine actions, support their health and ensure that they maintain their quality of life.
However, not every care facility provides its residents with the support they need, and this neglect can have a devastating impact on their wellbeing.
What are the signs of nursing home neglect?
With so much care needed for their daily needs, nursing home residents who experience neglect can experience health concerns, worsening of existing conditions and mental health struggles. For some, neglect can even be fatal. Potential signs of neglect in an eldercare facility include:
- Understaffing — Often, neglect results from a facility hiring too few staff to care for residents’ needs, and a lack of staff could be an early red flag of neglect in a facility. Unfortunately, this issue is common, with some reports indicating understaffing in around 25 percent of nursing homes.
- Dehydration or weight loss — These conditions could indicate that a care facility does not provide residents with the support they need to eat and drink.
- Bedsores — When a facility’s staff does not periodically move residents, especially those whose limited mobility confines them to a bed or wheelchair, this can result in sores.
- Poor hygiene — If a person or their clothes appear dirty, it could be a sign that the staff does not ensure regular bathing or help them change their clothes.
- Unexplained injuries – Because of how many elderly people experience challenges with their mobility, unexplained falls or bruising could indicate that they have not received the assistance or mobility aids they need.
- Under medication — Without regular reminders, residents of care facilities may not take the right dose of medication and their health could suffer as a result.
If you notice these signs of neglect, you can take steps to right this wrong and protect your loved one. Reporting the issue to facility administration or government agencies can improve oversight. Filing a lawsuit may also offer the opportunity to hold negligent care facilities accountable.