Making the decision to put a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult one for people in Jasper, and throughout Alabama. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect are relatively common occurrences in these types of facilities. The fear that your family member may suffer such mistreatment can further complicate this choice. At The Sapp Law Firm, L.L.C., we often consult with families who are unsure how to know whether a loved one is suffering abuse or neglect in a nursing home. In this post then, we will discuss some common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Elder abuse and neglect can take on many forms. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, actions that are intentionally, knowingly or negligently taken, which result in harm, or pose a risk of harm, to those who cannot help or defend themselves may be considered elder abuse. Beyond the obvious types of physical and sexual abuse, this can also include intimidating, humiliating or threatening nursing home patients. Nursing home neglect may include failing to provide residents with adequate food, health care, shelter or protection, as well as not assisting them with essential health and hygiene tasks.
Depending on the type of abuse that is occurring, nursing home residents may display a range of signs. While physical signs, such as bruises, broken bones, abrasions and pressure marks, can be easy to spot, others may not be. Some of the most common signs that there is a problem in your loved one’s nursing home include the following:
- Unusual changes in his or her behavior
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Pressure ulcers or bedsores
- Changes in his or her appearance efforts or personal hygiene
- The development of strained or tense interactions with nursing home staff or other residents
In addition to watching for signs in your loved one him or herself, there may also be environmental signs. Mobility equipment or furniture that appears to be unsafe, as well as slippery floors and poor lighting may indicate negligence on the part of the nursing home staff.
There is no foolproof way for families to ensure that their loved ones are not being mistreated in their nursing homes. However, recognizing the signs of nursing home negligence or abuse early may help them to catch it and prevent it from continuing. For more information, please visit our nursing home abuse and neglect page.