At the Sapp Law Firm, LLC, in Alabama, we know that placing your parent in a nursing home probably was one of the most difficult decisions you ever had to make. Despite the care with which you selected the nursing home, still you worry that caregivers there may not give him or her the care (s)he needs and to which (s)he is entitled.
Unfortunately, you may have reason to worry. Nursing home neglect is a huge problem in America and can result in your parent suffering significant physical and psychological injuries. As Next Avenue explains, here are the top six signs of nursing home neglect you should look for whenever you visit your parent.
1. Poor personal hygiene
Whatever illness, condition or disability your parent suffers from, his or her body and clothing always should appear clean and neat. Check for body or mouth odor, overly long fingernails and toenails, neatly combed hair and clean, neat, adequate clothing.
2. Unsanitary living conditions
Your parent’s room likewise should present a clean and neat appearance. All bathroom surfaces should basically sparkle, with no hint of dirt, mold or odor.
3. Unexplained injuries
Should you ever notice a bruise, bump or other sign of injury on your parent’s body, this is a serious red flag signifying neglect. A broken bone is even more serious. While accidents happen in the best nursing homes, always question both your parent and the staff, up to and including the administrator, about any injury you observe.
4. Nutritional problems
Your parent should appear well-fed and well-hydrated. Pay close attention to any complaints (s)he makes about inadequate food or insufficient water and other drinks. Poor nutrition can lead to his or her loss of strength, as well as a decreased desire for interaction with you or anyone else.
5. Mobility problems
In all likelihood, your parent is elderly, and the older most people become, the more they tend to cut down on their exercise and activities. At the very least, the nursing home should make sure that your parent walks as much as possible, even if that requires assistance from staff personnel. Constantly sitting in a chair or lying in bed not only further decreases your parent’s mobility, it also leads to bed sores.
6. Psychological problems
If your parent seems unusually distant, uncommunicative, confused or depressed, do your best to ferret out the cause. Again, pay attention to any complaints (s)he has with regard to life in general or to a specific caregiver.
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