Nursing homes should be a safe place for elderly loved ones to get the care they need that need. However, many nursing have poorly trained staff or are understaffed, leading to neglect or even outright abuse. If your loved one is abused or neglected at a nursing home, here’s how to know and what you can do.
Changes in Your Loved One’s Behavior
If your loved one’s behavior suddenly changes, becoming sullen or withdrawn, they may suffer from neglect or abuse. Also, they are often afraid to talk about it. Ask the nursing home staff when the behavior changes began and what happened that could be linked to the change.
If your loved one has bruises, cuts, or other injuries that cannot be explained, it may be abuse. Is your loved one “falling” more often? If so, it could either be due to your loved one suffering physical abuse or neglect. Or, your loved one is allowed to get up and move around while unsupervised. Always ask the nursing home staff about injuries and be aware of any explanations that don’t add up.
Does your loved one have items that are missing? Are they missing clothes, jewelry, or money? Be aware that sometimes, nursing home staff will steal from an elderly patient, especially if they think that no one will notice. Therefore, make a mental catalog of your loved one’s valuable personal effects and keep an eye out if anything goes missing. If it does, be sure to question the nursing home about the matter.
Medication Errors and Poor Care
Neglect is more common in nursing homes than outright abuse, but this doesn’t make it any less serious. If you suspect that your loved one may not be getting the medication they need, or they exhibit signs of poor care such as decreased hygiene or bedsores, your loved one may be a victim of neglect. Always approach the nursing home about signs of poor care that you see and if the situation is not rectified, it may be necessary to take more aggressive action.
When to Contact an Attorney
If you suspect your loved one is being physically abused, or you are dealing with issues of neglect that the nursing home can’t seem to rectify, it’s time to discuss your case with a nursing home abuse attorney. At the Law Offices of Carl L. Brown, we can help. Call today for a consultation to discuss your legal options at (559) 431-4400.