How Can I Tell if My Parent is Being Neglected by Nursing Home Staff?
It can be scary to put an elderly loved one’s health in the hands of staff members at an assisted living facility. Unfortunately, fears of neglect and abuse at the hands of caregivers and staff are warranted, given the prevalence of such crimes. Even if you are not able to see your loved one and monitor their care throughout the day, you can still help ensure they are being properly cared for by knowing how to look for signs of neglect.
Neglect is a form of elder abuse that occurs when the person or people responsible for administering an appropriate level of care fail to do so by inattention, inadequate performance of duties, and so on. This can occur when nursing homes are overpopulated or understaffed, making it very challenging for elder care staff to give every resident the quality of care they deserve. In many other cases, this occurs when nursing home staff simply choose not to take the time or make sufficient effort to ensure the wellbeing of an elder who has been entrusted into their care. Though different from sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, nursing home neglect can still have severe, devastating consequences in the life of your aging loved one, and spotting it can be lifesaving.
Speak up right away if you notice any of the following:
- Significant weight loss or weight gain: If your loved one’s weight has changed significantly since your last visit or since they moved into the facility, this could be a sign of several things. They could be dissatisfied with the food they are being given (which could be a sign that it is below par or that their dietary needs are not being met). They may also be experiencing symptoms of congestive heart failure or another serious and pressing health issue which, if looked over by staff members responsible for monitoring their health, could result in hospitalization, medical complications, and even death. It could also be a sign that your senior is not being encouraged to leave their room for meal time or being forgotten about.
- Poor personal hygiene and offensive odors: The staff at your loved one’s nursing home, assisted living facility, or other type of residential senior living program are legally obligated to ensure their needs are being consistently and adequately met, especially when it comes to basic personal hygiene. If you notice your loved one is wearing dirty clothes, smells of feces, vomit, or urine, has not brushed their teeth recently or well, or has overgrown fingernails or toenails, these could be signs that the staff are not paying close enough attention to your loved one.
- Safe living quarters: If your loved one’s personal room does not have important safety features such as bed railings, support railings on the walls and in the restroom, shower chairs, secured rugs, etc., they are much more likely to slip, fall, bruise, experience broken bones, or be unnecessarily hurt. It is the duty of nursing home staff to ensure your loved one has a safe, secure environment in which to live, and failure to do so can be detrimental.
- Social, psychological, and emotional changes: If your senior becomes socially withdrawn, more difficult to talk to, unwilling to interact with others, or exhibits depressive signs and symptoms, it could be because they are being left alone too much. Detrimental neglect can take the form of failure to encourage seniors to socialize, and this can do serious emotional and psychological damage.
Speak Up About Nursing Home Neglect in Dallas by Calling (214) 301-5007 Today
At Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP, we believe in sticking up for people who are being abused, overlooked, or taken advantage of by others. If your loved one is being neglected by nursing home staff, we are here to help you make it right. Our nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers will fight for you and your family member until justice is served.
Your initial consultation is on us. Call (214) 301-5007 to speak to a nursing home neglect attorney right away.