Placing a loved one in a nursing home is one of the hardest decisions a person can make, even if it’s ultimately the right choice. You expect the nursing facility you choose to promptly see to your loved one’s needs, whether that involves personal care, meal preparation, or medication administration.
When nursing home staff are derelict in their duties, or are outright abusive to residents, family members must take immediate action. The first step is to understand what nursing home abuse and neglect looks like so you can contact the proper authorities and ensure your loved one is taken to safety.
Poor Personal Hygiene
Maintaining good personal hygiene isn’t just about comfort. It’s also essential for people with compromised immune systems to ward off germs and illness. When residents of a nursing home are unable to care for themselves, staff must step in to assist with bathing, nail cutting, shaving, hair trimming, and other daily tasks. When staff are lax, residents will take on a disheveled appearance, complete with unkempt hair and soiled clothing.
Increasing Disorientation and Confusion
Many residents of nursing homes need help with medication regimens. If there are cognitive issues caused by Alzheimer’s or dementia, the resident is at risk of missing doses or taking too much of a medication. Both occurrences can lead to specific behaviors, such as confusion, drowsiness, clumsiness, and other effects. This is precisely why staff are tasked with overseeing medication distribution, as well as ensuring residents are taking their medicine at the correct time each day.
Bedsores are an issue for people with limited mobility. They can be prevented by frequently moving bedridden patients, changing their clothing and bedsheets, and making sure wounds are cleaned and bandaged as needed. While bedsores will begin as minor wounds, they can quickly worsen and put the patient at risk of a serious infection. A facility that has a problem preventing and treating bedsores does not have the right protocols in place to address what is a common issue in nursing facilities.
Frequent Preventable Injuries
People with mobility limitations also have a greater risk of falling when navigating a nursing home. Staff should always be available to help residents move from their beds, correctly use their assistive devices, safely use restroom facilities, etc. When staff take these actions, residents are much less likely to experience cuts, bruises, sprains, or even broken bones. Conversely, if your loved one is frequently being treated for unexplained preventable injuries, it’s time to inquire about the level of care being provided.
What to Do If You Have Concerns About a Nursing Home
In addition to alerting local authorities about subpar care, you might also consider filing a lawsuit against a nursing facility if your family was seriously injured as a result of neglect or abuse. In this case, you’ll need a skilled legal team to help, and Hinkle Law Offices is ready to assist people all over Albuquerque.