When our loved ones are unable to care for themselves, we may consider nursing homes as an option. We expect that family members will receive the best possible care. However, this is not always the case.
Nursing homes face many challenges. For example, they are often understaffed. Staff members may be overworked and distracted. These types of issues can lead to patient neglect or abuse, which can result in severe physical and mental problems. Tragically, there are nursing home patients that end up seriously ill or dead due to nursing home neglect.
If your loved one is in a nursing home, you should be concerned about their welfare. Will you be able to tell if your family member is being neglected? What are the signs and symptoms? Here are six signs to look for.
Nursing home staff should be helping your loved one with hygiene on a daily basis – things like regular baths, meals and medications. If you notice your loved one looking unkept and unhappy, he or she may be neglected.
If your loved one suddenly has bruises, broken and other injuries, he or she may be abused or neglected. A staff member may be inflicting these injuries onto your loved one. Alternatively, important safety measures for the elderly may not be installed. Another likely scenario is that your loved one is getting these injuries from falls. He or she may not be receiving sufficient help. As a result, your family member may attempt to do things without help and suffer falls in the process.
Loss of Mobility
Good nursing homes keep their residents active. When patients stay in bed all day, they lose muscle tone and find it harder to remain mobile. They also become prone to bedsores and other problems. Your loved one’s nursing home should encourage activity. Some even have walking programs in place and ensure that entertainment options are made available to help motivate nursing home residents be involved.
Lack of Nutrition
If your loved one is neglected, he or she may not be receiving sufficient food or water. This may happen if staff members are overworked or distracted. Ask your loved one how often he or she is fed. Is water readily available? Does your loved one look thin and frail? If so, nutritional issues may be a factor.
Lack of Sanitation
Nursing home staff members are required to keep living areas clean and sanitary. Check your loved one’s room and bedding. Do you notice dirt or pests? If so, these issues need to be addressed immediately so your loved one does not become ill.
If your loved one suddenly becomes quiet, moody or withdrawn, they may be experiencing neglect or abuse. Your loved one may be suffering, but feel uncomfortable discussing the situation with you. If you notice a personality change in your family member, try to get to the root of it quickly before your loved one gets severely depressed.
Let an Austin, Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Today
If your loved one was neglected in a nursing home, it’s a good idea to seek legal help. Nursing home neglect claims can be complex, and you need someone with experience on your side. The Austin personal injury attorneys at DC Law can help. We can stop the neglect and help you receive compensation for damages. For a free legal consultation, call our office at (512) 220-1800.