Making the decision to place a family member into a nursing home is never easy - but often necessary. Once the decision is made - and once your loved one is settled in - you hope for the best.
But what happens when things don't go as planned?
What happens when you think your loved one may be experiencing abuse or neglect by nursing home staff?
Learning to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse is a critical first step to keeping your loved one safe. Here are some things to look for:
- Bed sores: Bed sores may develop from prolonged sitting or lying in the same position. Nursing home staff should reposition immobile residents to reduce the risk of developing bed sores.
- Malnutrition and/or dehydration: Rapid weight loss, fatigue, extreme thirst, dry skin, dry mouth, or a decrease in urine output may indicate that your loved one is malnourished or dehydrated. The nursing home is required to ensure that the resident's nutritional needs are met.
- Changes in behavior: Not all elderly individuals are able to communicate that something is wrong. Therefore, a change in behavior (withdrawing, irritability, depression, anxiety, etc.) may indicate that abuse or neglect are occurring.
- Appearance: A change in your loved one's appearance may indicate neglect. Signs can include lack of bathing, body odor, dirty hair, bad breath, long nails, etc.
Not every bruise or sore is evidence of nursing home abuse. If you think your family member may be experiencing physical or sexual abuse or neglect, you should take steps to ensure his or her safety and speak to an attorney about your legal options.
Schedule a free consultation with an attorney from Guenard & Bozarth, where we will listen to your story and evaluate your legal options.