Three Signs Your Loved One May Be Suffering Nursing Home Neglect

When one of your parents or loved ones becomes frail and elderly and are no longer able to take care of themselves and safely remain in their home, if you are like most people you might agonize over what the next best step could be. For many families, their decision results in placing their beloved in a nursing home. People are living longer and longer, but they frequently need specialized care that prohibits family from being able to care for them as so often happened in the past. Instead, they search for the perfect facility, do their research, tour countless options, and finally decide on what they feel is the best of the best.

Unfortunately, no matter how well you do your research, many people find themselves with the sneaking suspicion that the facility they have chosen is neglecting their loved one rather than humanely caring for them as they deserve. This horrific realization results in immediately removing them and sends them running for the nearest personal injury attorney. While this scenario can happen to anyone, no matter how diligent you are, there are some signs you should be aware of. Here's a look at three signs of nursing home negligence:

Weight Loss

It's normal for elderly people to lose their appetite as they get older; it's also normal to lose weight if they have been ill. However, if your dear one seems to be losing weight for no apparent reason, it's time to question what they are being fed. Ask to see the weekly menu. Are they serving whole foods and nutritious, well-balanced meals? Inquire after their eating habits. Ask the resident if they are able to communicate, and ask the staff if they enjoy the meals and how much and how often they are eating. Visit at meal times in the next few days to see for yourself what they are being served and how they are eating.

Skin Sores

It's not uncommon for people to spend a lot of time in bed, and the skin does become thin and tear easily with age. People who are bedridden and unable to move must be regularly turned and re-positioned to make sure pressure sores, commonly called bedsores, don't develop. Once these sores develop they can quickly become infected, especially in diabetics. Left untreated they can cause sepsis, a potentially fatal condition. If you notice any skin ulcers, be sure to do a more thorough inspection. Look for bruises or indications of restraint, too. Take pictures of anything that looks out of the ordinary to you.

Lethargy And Depression

A certain amount of depression is normal when people go through life changes and need to accept things they don't necessarily want. If that depression lingers and they have no lust for life, or they seem overly emotional and fearful, there may be something more going on. Try talking to your loved one, and if you are unable to get a satisfactory answer, do several drop-in surprise visits to reassess the situation.

Neglect, negligence, and abuse can be subtle and unfortunately, those who abuse are adept at covering it up. Don't ignore your intuition; if you feel something is wrong, chances are you're right. If you suspect neglect, contact a personal injury attorney immediately before negligence becomes wrongful death. They will let you know exactly what your next steps should be.