We all second-guess our choices about placing a loved one in a nursing home. Whether something arouses your suspicion or you just aren’t sure you made the right decision, you still want to make sure your loved one is happy and healthy.
You also need to be on the lookout for signs that your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home.
Signs that Your Loved One is Being Neglected
- Bedsores.Bedsores are preventable, but they’re very common. Proper care from the nursing home staff helps ensure that your loved one won’t suffer from these pressure ulcers—but when the staff isn’t moving your friend or family member enough, these painful (and sometimes life-threatening) bedsores can cause irreparable harm.
- Isolation. Nursing homes are not allowed to keep your loved one apart from others against their will. If your loved one is often alone in his or her room or is excluded from activities or excursions when they would like to participate, then staff might be neglecting them.
- Malnutrition or dehydration. The CDC says over 1.4 million people are in nursing homes across the U.S. Nearly one-third of those people suffer from malnutrition or dehydration. Elderly malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes is usually preventable; it’s a sign of neglect. The lack of proper nutrition can cause other medical problems like tooth decay; anemia; broken bones; low blood pressure and even death.
- Decline in hygiene.Some nursing home residents are relatively independent and are able to perform many tasks on their own. However, many require help with things like going to the bathroom, bathing and dressing. When nursing home employees aren’t facilitating these things, they’re being neglectful.
- Sudden decline in health.Many elderly people require medication to survive, such as those with diabetes and hypertension. If you notice a sudden, rapid decline in your loved one’s health, you should investigate to ensure that caregivers are properly and adequately administering their medications. Many illnesses are preventable, as well, so caregivers might not be following proper procedures to care for your loved one if he or she is dealing with frequent sickness.
If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, start asking questions. You have the right to advocate for your parent, family member or friend.
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