When you’re young, fit and healthy you’d probably never imagine yourself as a forgotten and neglected ”old person”. No one sets out with this goal as they enter old age, but the reality is that it’s far too common among the elderly.
When seniors enter a nursing home, it’s only natural to expect a certain level of care as a concerned loved one. You are most likely paying for this service, after all. No one expects nursing home negligence as part of the deal.
So, what are the signs to look out for? Here are some of the most common.
1. Mysterious Bruises or Injuries
While many seniors might not be as stable on their feet as they once were, the appearance of bruising and random injuries could point to a case of nursing home abuse or neglect.
These bruises/injuries might come from physical abuse or mistreatment, or the neglect of a senior with poor mobility (i.e. allowing them to fall over). In some cases, a senior might even report sexual abuse/assault, especially if they have compromised mobility.
What makes these injuries especially suspicious is if your loved one is too afraid to explain them or simply cannot remember how they happened. These signs could point to a serious case of nursing home negligence.
2. Pressure Ulcers
Also called bed sores, pressure ulcers are a very clear and common sign of nursing home neglect. The only time these wounds would occur is if your loved one is left in their bed, unattended, for too long.
Basically, bed sores form when a person has compromised mobility and cannot move while lying in bed. This inability to shift positions means the skin breaks down in certain areas, resulting in painful, open wounds. If the wounds become infected, this is an even more significant sign of neglect.
3. Neglected Living Conditions
This is another one of the most common signs of a negligence case. Pay attention to your loved one’s living conditions when you visit them. If the nursing home and their room (most especially) appear unsanitary or unkempt, this could point to a case of negligence.
Some warning signs might look like dirty, unchanged bedding, soiled clothing, unhygienic bathrooms, and kitchens, etc. Another obvious red flag is if your loved one verbally complains about the lack of care and cleanliness. Don’t overlook their complaints!
4. Poor Personal Hygiene
This co-incides with the above warning sign. If your loved one begins to appear unkempt, disheveled, or to have an unpleasant smell about them, they could be the subject of neglect. Unfortunately, this type of neglect can go unnoticed because seniors tend to lose interest in their personal hygiene due to illness, immobility, or depression.
But don’t make the mistake of overlooking this. If they usually appear put together and proud of their appearance, but this suddenly changes, ask them about what’s going on.
5. Anger and Aggression Towards Staff Members
This is a significant red flag you should never ignore. Some seniors experience a change in behavior as they age, whether it’s due to illness, pain levels, or conditions such as dementia.
But if your loved one begins to show new signs of anger or aggression toward nursing home staff, there has to be a reason why. Try to discuss why your loved one feels this way — it could boil down to anger and resentment toward staff due to neglect or abuse.
Are You Dealing With Nursing Home Negligence?
If you suspect that your loved one might be the subject of nursing home negligence, it’s time to hire an attorney. At Cox Pradia Law Firm, we offer more than three decades of experience in fighting for the rights of victims of personal injury.
We are proud to support your case both in and out of court as a trusted source of legal representation in the Houston area. Get in touch with our expert team and let’s discuss your case.