When individuals move into a California nursing home, they and their families rightfully expect them to be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse is a serious issue across the United States. It is important that loved ones and community members be on the lookout for warning signs of neglect in a nursing home. Being aware of these red flags that can prevent further damage and keep vulnerable populations safe. Here are five signs that something isn’t quite right at a nursing home:
- Personal hygiene issues: Caring for residents’ basic personal hygiene is among the responsibilities of nursing home staff. A neglected person may present with poor hygiene, including unbrushed teeth, unclipped nails or body odor.
- Unclean living conditions: The state of California has strict requirements for the housing situation of nursing home residents. These include clean bedding, sanitized bathrooms and a sanitary kitchen. If the resident is living in an unclean environment, it is a serious warning sign that something is wrong with the nursing home.
- Malnutrition: A resident who is losing weight or appears otherwise malnourished or dehydrated may be experiencing neglectful behavior, such as a nursing home failing to feed the resident, not monitoring their food intake or failing to recognize an untreated medical condition, such as difficulty swallowing.
- Loss of mobility: As people age, it is important for them to exercise and stay active; otherwise, they risk losing mobility. A neglected resident may not get the activity they need and therefore have increased difficulty moving. Bed sores and infections are also a sign that someone is remaining stationary, which may not be in their best interest.
- Physical or psychological injuries: If a nursing home resident sustains an injury, such as broken bones or bruises, it is critical to ask serious questions. These injuries can come from a lack of care, neglect or even abuse. Damage can also be psychological, so be on the lookout for depression, emotional changes or other signs of trauma.
California nursing homes have an important job ahead of them. They are tasked with caring for some of the most vulnerable people in the community, and there are laws and guidelines in place to ensure they meet the needs of those within their care. Despite these safeguards, nursing home neglect and abuse can still take place and leave lasting injuries and psychological effects. Those who have been injured as a result of nursing home neglect should speak to a California lawyer to discuss their options for legal action.