Moving an aging loved one into a nursing home isn’t easy, but many families find comfort in the fact that the staff at the facility will provide the kind of care they never could. At the end of the day, though, quality care is not guaranteed.
While it’s impossible to know just how many residents are affected because so many cases go unreported, abuse is rampant in nursing homes around the country. If you’re worried about an elderly loved one who lives in a long-term care facility, visiting often is one of the most effective ways to keep him or her safe—especially if you know how to identify abuse or neglect.
Here are just a few of the most common warning signs of nursing home abuse:
1. Malnutrition or Dehydration
When nursing home residents don’t receive balanced meals—or the help they require to consume such meals—malnutrition and dehydration could result. Potential signs of poor nutrition include:
- Weight loss;
- Lack of interest in food or drink;
- Lethargy and weakness;
- Poor concentration;
- Low body temperature; and
Bedsores are one of the most common signs of neglect. Also known as pressure ulcers, these wounds develop as the result of prolonged pressure on the same area of the body. They’re especially common on the skin covering bony protrusions like the heels, ankles, hips, and tailbone.
3. Unanticipated Hospitalization
If your loved one has a serious illness that’s causing his or her health to deteriorate rapidly, frequent hospitalizations may not be all the surprising. When residents who are fairly stable are rushed to the hospital, though, abuse or neglect may be to blame. If there’s no explanation for your relative’s most recent hospitalization—or the explanation you receive doesn’t make sense—it’s worth investigating.
4. Unexplained Injuries
Sprains, strains, bruises, welts, lacerations, and fractures that have no apparent cause may signify physical abuse. Likewise, injuries that can be explained but don’t heal properly—or at all—are indicative of neglect.
5. Dramatic Change in Mood or Personality
When someone is abused or neglected, his or her demeanor is likely to change. In other words, if you notice a dramatic shift in your loved one’s mood, there’s cause for concern.
Those who are struggling to process physical, sexual, or emotional abuse are also inclined to isolate themselves from others. That means your relative may retreat from social events that he or she used to love or tell you not to visit altogether. If either occurs, it could be a sign that something traumatic has happened.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in New York
If your loved one received substandard care from nursing home staff, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. We have won several multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for personal injury clients. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.