According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), about 95% of residents have experienced bad care in the form of neglect or abuse. This is one worrying statistic considering that it’s a place where you expect the best care. Yes, nursing homes for the elderly should be places where people who are in their sunset years go to receive adequate care. However, it’s not unusual to find neglect and abuse in some nursing homes. This problem may be attributed to issues like understaffing or lack of concern by the home staff etc. Either way, it’s inexcusable! That’s why it is essential to know the signs of bad care and the steps to take if your loved one is a victim. Let’s expound more on the common signs of bad nursing home care and what you ought to do.
Common Signs of Poor Nursing Home Care
Poor hygiene of the resident
Elderly people will often need care for their hygiene in the nursing home. For example, they may require assistance with brushing their teeth, bathing or even changing into clean clothes. If you visit your loved one at a nursing home and realize that their hygiene is poor, that is one red flag that they are not getting the right care.
Poor sanitary conditions
The nursing home staff ought to provide clean clothing and bedding for the residents. Besides, the nursing home should be kept clean, free of pests, and weeds. If the clothes offered to your loved ones are tattered and not well washed, that should ring a bell as a sign of lousy care and should necessitate an action.
Elderly residents at a poor nursing home might also suffer malnutrition. This may be caused by a lack of enough water for drinking and a lack of enough balanced diet. You should, therefore, look out for such signs as dry skin, general weakness or lack of strength. You can also ask them about their feeding and determine if they are getting the right diet from the nursing home.
Lack of mobility
Proper care at nursing home programs include activities that keep the residents mobile. This helps them in retaining muscle mass and their ability to move around. Depending on age, when the elderly resident can no longer move about on their own, it could be a sign of reduced mobility and, therefore, lack of reasonable care.
Signs of physical injuries
According to the World Health Organization, 95% of body fractures in the population over 65 years result from falls. Older people in the residences may move around to perform tasks such as making beds on their own. Due to a lack of stamina, they may experience falls and therefore incur physical injuries. In other words, if you notice that your loved one has an injury, it could be a sure sign that they are not receiving good care at the residence.
Now that you know how to check for signs of poor nursing home care, what actions should you take to protect your loved one?
What to do about bad Nursing Home Care
For starters, it is vital to try and listen to the concerns of your loved one when they express their concerns. It is by doing so that you can understand the genesis of bad care and decide the appropriate action to take. For example, your loved ones may not be getting enough food. You will need to hear it from them to follow up with the relevant authorities.
Report the cases of neglect and abuse
Now, here are the steps you should take in case your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse:
- Local law enforcement authorities: You can first try talking to the nursing care administrators, depending on the severity of the abuse. You should also call the police to report the abuse and let them take action.
- Take Legal Action: You can sue for compensation from the nursing home care for the pain and suffering caused to your loved one. In this case, you should speak to a nursing home neglect attorney for help. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will help investigate the issue and build a case to help you fight for your rights.
- Seek Medical Attention: In case you suspect a case of attack or injury on your loved one, it is essential to clear any doubts and enlist the help of a doctor to determine the cause of injuries. The medical assessment will also help determine the best course of action.
Residents in nursing homes are entitled to good care. This includes good food, assistance to carry out personal hygiene, and also help with moving around. It is essential to keep checking that your loved ones get the best care. In the case of bad care, you have a reason to report, remove them from the nursing home, and even take legal action!