5 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Many of us know someone who lives or has spent time in a nursing home. There are more than 16,000 nursing homes in the United States that house approximately 2 million residents. While we expect nursing homes to provide a safe environment and skilled-care for our loved ones, many fail to meet this expectation. This is called nursing home neglect. What are the warning signs you should be looking for?
Nursing Home Neglect Warning Signs
Physical Abuse – Physical abuse will often reveal itself through unexplained injuries such as skin tears, bruising, cuts, and more. While it is not uncommon for an elderly person to bruise easily, when it becomes a pattern, it could be a sign that abuse is occurring. Ask about how the injuries occurred and be wary of any answers that do not make sense.
Emotional Abuse – You know your loved one better than anyone, so if there are any sudden changes in their behavior, especially sudden outbursts, don’t second guess yourself and ask questions. If your loved one shows signs of anxiety, fear, embarrassment, agitation, depression, or anger, it could be a sign that abuse has occurred. Even if there are no physical signs of abuse, this does not mean there has not been emotional abuse.
Neglect – Unexplained weight loss due to malnutrition or cracked lips and swollen tongue from dehydration are also signs of neglect. They may have untreated physical issues, such as bedsores, or have an unpleasant odor or appearance due to the lack of assistance with personal hygiene.
Financial Abuse – Senior citizens are at a high risk for financial exploitation and abuse. In nursing homes, signs of financial abuse may include:
- Unexplained withdrawals from checking and savings accounts
- Unexplained overdrafts
- Suspicious purchases
- Missing money and valuables from your loved one’s room
Insufficient Medical Attention – One of the key duties of nursing home staff is to ensure that residents get the care they need. If your loved one’s health unexpectedly or rapidly declines after moving into a nursing home, this could be a sign of abuse or neglect. Also keep an eye out for a surplus of medication or running out of medications too early.
If you observe any of these signs, act quickly to protect your loved one by contacting our experienced attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. We are all too familiar with the seriousness of nursing home negligence and are prepared to represent our clients in such cases.