Nursing Home Abuse Warning Signs
How To Protect Your Loved Ones
The decision to put a family member in a nursing home or assisted living facility is a decision that no one wants to make. However, sometimes it becomes a necessity especially if your loved one is unable to live alone due to advancing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and issues with falling. People are reluctant to admit their loved ones to nursing homes or other assisted living settings because all too frequently reports of nursing home abuse and neglect. More recently, some home care nurses have provided negligent care within patients homes.
Unfortunately, people who are unprofessional and uncaring are hired to fill positions as nurses and nursing assistants. Many times, nursing home abuse is never suspected because your loved one isn’t able to tell you exactly what has happened or they are afraid to tell you what is happening to them because they fear backlash from the employee or facility that is housing them. There are signs you can look for if you suspect your family member is being abused by nursing home staff members. When you recognize these signs then you can take action on behalf of your loved one.
Some nursing home employees are paid very little for the work they do. The staffs in some facilities are stretched too thin because the turnover rate of employees can be very high. Also, facilities may cut budgets and freeze hiring because of new healthcare laws and the inability to pay a decent living wage. In any case, facilities usually end up with an inadequate number of staff members to care for patients. This can lead to mistakes in care like medication errors and oversights about a patient’s general hygiene.
What should you look for when you visit your loved one? Here are a few examples:
- When you visit your loved one always make yourself aware of which staff members are in charge of your loved ones care during the daytime, evening and overnight hours. Make a point to familiarize yourself with the different staff members and if there is anything that you feel is amiss regarding your loved one, don’t hesitate to ask multiple questions. If you don’t get the answers you are looking for, go to the director of nursing and pose your questions.
- Look for extreme changes in mood or demeanor. If you loved one is unusually quiet or if they shy away from you, then there is bound to be a problem. They may be frightened. They cannot defend themselves and if they tell you that abuse is happening always follow up with the charge nurse or nursing home supervisor. Watch how your loved one interacts with certain staff members. If their personality changes greatly when specific members of the staff come in, keep an eye on the situation.
- Unexplained bruising can be a sign of nursing home abuse. Look closely to see if your loved one has any unexplained bruising or any type of new pain. New pain can be a result of broken bones or other types of organ and tissue injuries. Many times residents who fall aren’t being checked on properly and their calls for help are ignored. When staff members find them they simply put them back into bed and never advise anyone else that the incident occurred. Your loved one may never get treatment for the broken bone or treatment time is greatly delayed. For a person whose immune system is compromised this can be very dangerous as it is possible for infection or other complications to set in.
- If you see anything like torn clothing, the absence of fresh water pitchers or cups, or if water is out of the reach of the patient this could mean that someone has been physically abusive to them, or a staff member could be withholding water from them as a form of punishment.
- Unexplained weight loss, dehydration, skin lacerations and untreated pressure sores (bed sores) are other signs of possible abuse. Make yourself aware of the attitudes of the staff members and take a long hard look at the level of service they provide your loved one. If they are rude, short tempered, loud or they act as some patients are more important than others, these could be signs that the healthcare worker is abusive or neglectful. Talk with other friends, family members, and other residents as they can update you on anything they may have witnessed.
Nursing Home Abuse Warning Signs
Your loved ones deserve the best of everything and, at times, with loved ones who are dealing with dementia and other debilitating diseases at the end of their lives, it can be hard on everyone in the family. If you believe that a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or healthcare provider abuse contact Attorney Skip McManes of McManes Law. Mr. McManes is highly experienced and will work directly with your family to stop the abuse and get the compensation that your loved one needs. The Golden Years are very sacred and your family members need to be safe. Contact McManes Law today for a free consultation. Call us locally at (770) 645-8801, Toll Free at (866) 612-2481, or visit our website.