Nursing home abuse is not a situation to turn a blind eye. It’s a serious issue. Neglect occurs when a patient is not receiving the care they need and suffer as a result. The severity of nursing home neglect will differ case by case, but it’s harmful and often entails hygiene and mobility issue, and poor nutrition.
Neglect can be tough to spot. If the person is feeling victimized and shamed, don’t expect them to reveal the abuse. Be aware of the following six signs that are often associated with neglect.
- Poor hygiene: Nursing home nurses and staff are expected to assist residents with their basic personal hygiene needs. Many residents in long-term care facilities can’t perform everyday tasks on their own, which includes brushing their teeth and bathing, among others. If this basic hygiene isn’t maintained, the signs of neglect become evident.
- Unhealthy living conditions: Federal law states that nursing homes must provide safe, sanitary and comfortable environments for residents, which is provided by establishing and maintaining an infection control program. Signs of poor living conditions includes dirty bedding and clothing or unsanitary bathroom and kitchen areas. Bacteria thrives in unhealthy conditions, which can lead to new or worsening health issues for the resident.
- Poor nutrition: Dehydration, lower energy than usual and poor skin color and bloated stomachs are signs of malnutrition. Many nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition. While some is neglect, others simply suffer due to their mental and physical diseases, disorders and ailments.
- Mobility issues (or no mobility): One common sign of mobility abuse is bed sores. Those who are neglected will develop these sores by being kept in bed without being properly turned and bathed. Mobility neglect also rears its head when residents, who can be more active with assistance, are not provided ample opportunities to exercise and stay active. Consistent activity is vital for the those in long-term care facilities, as it helps reduce spasms and increases circulation, strength and balance.
- Mysterious injuries: Sudden broken bones, bruises and head injuries that are not in conjunction with their ailments, are often a sign of neglect. Those that aren’t receiving proper care will try to do the task themselves, which can result in slip and falls or numerous other accidents and subsequent injuries.
Lastly, be aware of psychological issues. Neglect and abuse can severely hurt a residents’ mental state, leading to emotional issues. These issues will show as anger, resentment, depression and self-neglect. Self-neglect is one’s inability to perform essential self-care due to a poor physical or mental state.
If you feel you, or someone you love is being neglected, seek legal help immediately.