For many families with elderly members, seeking the support of a residential nursing home is the best option for their situation. These families rely on nursing home staff to provide necessary care and ensure the safety and comfort of their loved ones. Unfortunately, neglect is a common occurrence in these facilities.
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Neglect is the failure of a caretaker to meet a nursing home resident’s basic needs. Sometimes the acts of negligence or harm are intentional, but it can also be the result of inadequate staffing or poor training.
Regardless of the reason, neglect can dramatically impact the health and wellness of your elderly loved one. If your loved one resides in a care facility, you should be aware of signs of abuse or neglect.
Nursing Home Justice, led by attorney Mac Hester, can advise you of the warning signs of neglect in a Colorado nursing home so that further injury can be prevented, or so that you can transfer your family member to another facility, or so that you can pursue legal action against the nursing home if necessary.
One of the first signs of nursing home abuse is poor hygiene. A large number of nursing home residents require assistance with basic care, such as bathing. When a resident suffers neglect, their hygiene can suffer as a result.
This can happen from not only a lack of bathing, but also due to the failure of staff to assist a resident with activities such as brushing their teeth or washing their hair.
Neglect can also cause issues with sanitation within a resident’s personal space. This could include dirty sheets, unclean bathrooms, insect infestations, or mold. Visible sanitation issues of a loved one or their space are often signs of neglect.
Some nursing home residents require specific diets to ensure optimum health. Others cannot eat on their own.
When neglect results in residents missing meals or not receiving food or drink in a reasonable amount of time, it can have dire health consequences.
Malnutrition and dehydration are dangerous on their own, but they can compound other existing health issues an elderly person may have.
If a resident is looking malnourished, this could be a warning sign that abuse is taking place.
Neglect can result in more than just physical symptoms. In some cases, neglect can cause substantial emotional damage to a nursing home resident.
Unexplained psychological changes be a sign of neglect, including sudden bouts of anger or depression, for example. Some residents experiencing neglect could draw inwards and refuse to speak.
Others may be constantly in fear, particularly those suffering physical abuse at the hands of their caretakers. Any unusual change in the personality of a Colorado nursing home resident could be a warning sign of continuing abuse or neglect.
Some abuse and neglect in nursing homes can cause psychological and emotional problems in elderly loved ones.
They may become withdrawn and distant because they are afraid of facility staff members or are afraid to let their family know they are being abused.
Older individuals in such situations often become depressed and uninterested in activities that once excited them. They may even dissuade friends and family from visiting.
Many local assisted living facilities and nursing homes around the country offer exercise programs that help residents stay active to avoid muscle loss, blood circulation problems, and balance and mobility problems.
Family members who do not receive the correct care may become less mobile or entirely dependent on wheelchairs. If they are left in bed for too long, they can develop bed sores in addition to facing serious mobility problems.
Unexplained or unusual physical injuries are frequently a sign of abuse, but they can also be evidence of neglect.
When nursing home residents who need assistance meeting their basic needs are left on their own, they may attempt to care for themselves out of frustration or necessity. These attempts can lead residents to slip or fall, resulting in severe injury.
Acts of physical abuse are also more common in situations where nursing home employees neglect a resident.
The failure to pay appropriate attention to a resident could be enough grounds for a legal claim against a nursing home.