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7 Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Dec 07, 2017 in Nursing Home Neglect

neglected nursing home residentNursing home neglect too often goes unnoticed, compromising the health, safety and happiness of residents. Knowing the warning signs to look for will help you uncover nursing home neglect and take action against negligent caregivers to protect your loved one.

The New Haven nursing home abuse attorneys of D’Amico & Pettinicchi fight to protect nursing home patients who have been neglected or abused. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your loved one’s care and learn the legal options available to you.

1. Bedsores

Bedsores are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. They most often develop on nursing home residents who are bedridden and develop on areas of the body that are bony, such as the ankles, heels, hips and tailbone.

Although bedsores are common, they can also be an indication of neglect if nursing home caregivers:

  • Fail to regularly reposition (every two hours at minimum) immobile patients
  • Do not use pillows or devices to relieve pressure from bony areas of the body
  • Fail to bathe and clean the patient
  • Do not report that a bedsore has developed or an infection is forming
  • Do not provide the resident with appropriate nutrition and water, which help the patient’s body fight infection and skin breakdown

2. Poor Hygiene

Because nursing home residents are often unable to care for themselves, they rely on nursing homes to help them with basic personal hygiene tasks, such as:

  • Bathing
  • Brushing teeth
  • Combing hair
  • Clipping nails
  • Dressing

If your loved one’s hygiene is in poor condition, it may be a sign of neglect, which can drastically affect his or her health and wellbeing.

Often this type of neglect occurs if a facility is understaffed, as staff members may not have time to assist residents with tasks such as these.

3. Unsanitary Living Conditions

Similarly, nursing homes must provide residents with clean and safe living conditions. Federal law requires that facilities develop and follow infection control protocols designed to create safe and sanitary living conditions.

When a resident’s living conditions are unsanitary, he or she is at risk of developing illnesses and other health conditions.

If you notice an unclean environment when visiting a nursing home, it may be a sign that residents are not receiving the care they need.

4. Malnutrition and Dehydration

If a nursing home resident is not receiving the water and food he or she needs, his or her health can rapidly decline.

Some common causes of malnutrition and dehydration could include high staff turnover, a lack of individualized patient care, or a failure to attend to patient who has difficulty swallowing.

5. Mobility Changes

When residents are neglected and left in bed for long periods, mobility can suffer. Patients may experience mobility loss, inhibiting the ability to move around, exercise and remain active. Moving around also decreases the occurrence of bedsores and infections. Neglecting to facilitate a resident’s movement may lead to a complete loss of mobility.

6. Psychological Issues

Psychological changes in a nursing home resident may indicate nursing home neglect is taking place. Residents may become angry or resentful or may act distant from family members or friends, withdrawing or developing depression.

7. Unexplained Injuries

Unexplained injuries such as broken bones, bruises or head injuries can be an important indicator of abuse or neglect. When residents do not receive the help and care they need, they may try to do things for themselves. This can lead to falls and other preventable injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries every year. This includes elderly nursing home residents.

To combat this, nursing homes should take measures to help prevent falls, including reviewing prescribed medications to foresee drug interactions and side effects that could contribute to a fall, installing safety equipment such as grab bars, and training staff in safety and fall prevention.

Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Now

No resident should be subjected to neglect while staying in a nursing home facility. If you have noticed these signs of nursing home neglect, contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn what legal options are available for your loved one.

The New Haven nursing home abuse attorneys of D’Amico & Pettinicchi fight to hold negligent caregivers and nursing home facilities accountable for the abuse they have inflicted upon victims. Let us investigate your case and pursue damages for the injustices your loved one has suffered.

Call (866) 848-7077 or fill out our Free Case Review form now.