If you’ve long thought of nursing homes as safe havens where older men and women can live out their golden years in peace and serenity, you would be largely justified in your beliefs. In some facilities, however, nursing home neglect is a very real problem. Because it is often hard to detect, it can sometimes continue for weeks, months and years. If you have an aging parent or relative in a nursing home, here are a few signs to watch out for. Hard evidence should always be met with swift legal action.
While bedsores are significant problems in nursing homes, they may only be evident when the patient is closely examined. Known also as pressure sores, bedsores usually come about when patients are forced to lie in one position for an extended period of time. Nursing home patients who are unable to switch to a different resting position may develop reddish welts on various areas of the body. This form of neglect often occurs in facilities that are understaffed.
Dehydration can be devastating to nursing home patients. When individuals are not given enough fluids during the course of the day, they can become sluggish, irritable and pale. If they were originally admitted to the facility for another ailment, then the dehydration will be especially hard to spot. If your loved one complains of constant thirst, you can ask staff members for more information. Even moderate cases of dehydration can lead to a decline in both physical and psychological health.
Bruises are considered an active form of abuse. If they occur on the stomach, back or shoulders, however, they may not be readily visible. In some cases, patients may be hit, slapped or punched by nursing home staff members who simply have no business working in medicine. In extreme instances, bruises may signal sexual abuse. If you spot a discoloration that you think might be a bruise, seek legal help right away.
Weight loss often arises from poor nutrition, which is nearly always considered a serious form of neglect. Patients often require specialized diets, especially if they are suffering from osteoporosis, diabetes or other maladies. If they are losing weight but are not showing any other signs of physical decline, then they are likely being given unbalanced meals. Although weight loss can be reversed, it often points to a problem with planning and management that may be very difficult to fix.
If you believe that a loved one may be suffering from nursing home neglect, you will want to procure a reputable New York attorney as soon as possible. For further assistance, give the experts at Brown Chiari a call at 716-681-7190 or visit our homepage for more information.