It’s extremely unfortunate, but more than 10% of older adults experience some form of abuse, with nursing home neglect being high on the list of common types.

Nursing home neglect can be committed in a variety of ways:

  • Neglecting to provide basic needs (reasonable amounts of food and water and a clean and safe shelter)  
  • Neglecting medical concerns
  • Neglecting to give adequate assistance with personal hygiene practices
  • Neglecting social interaction and emotional support

6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

If you are concerned that a loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect, be on the lookout for any of these signs.

1- Nursing Home Staff Seems Inadequate, Uncooperative, or Uncaring

Keeping a nursing home staffed and everyone trained is a tall order, so you can expect there to be periods of stress. However, if there seems to be no leadership, high turnover, frantic staff members who take a long time to answer call lights and if the staff is generally uncooperative with your questions and requests or seems uncaring of your concerns, then you may want to look deeper to be sure your loved one isn’t experiencing any nursing home neglect.

2- You Notice Significant Weight Loss

Dehydration and malnourishment is a frequent sign of neglect in nursing homes. Seniors should be receiving adequate food and fluids to remain hydrated and nutritionally sound. Signs of dehydration and malnourishment are sudden weight loss, dry mouth, cracked lips, swollen tongue, reduced urination, and overly weak muscles.

3- There are Bruises, Skin Tears, Broken Bones, or Bed Sores

Even if a patient isn’t being out-right physically abused, nursing home neglect can still cause adverse physical effects. Patients should not be left alone for long. They should be moved carefully to prevent bruising and skin tears, given help and kept safe from falling, and turned over regularly to prevent bed sores.  

4- Your Loved One Has Poor Personal Hygiene

If you have noticed a marked decrease in personal hygiene, including wearing dirty clothes or having strong body odor, unwashed hair, and overgrown nails, you may be witnessing nursing home neglect. Another thing, if help with toileting is untimely or unavailable, an elderly person may become incontinent. They may smell of urine and feces or have a rash or skin breakdown from sitting in urine and feces for too long.

5- They Are Experiencing Pain, Are Disoriented, or Are Drowsy All the Time

If your senior seems to be in frequent, excessive pain, they may not be getting their proper medication dose at the prescribed times. Other side effects of medication neglect include confusion, disorientation, and drowsiness due to a medication’s unmonitored adverse side effects or overdose.

6- Your Loved One Seems Withdrawn and Silent

Everyone needs social interaction and emotional support and that goes for senior citizens as much as anyone. Does your loved one seem extra bored, lonely, isolated, and uninterested? It may be from receiving little or no mental stimulation or from a fear of retaliation.

Why You Need a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

Although nursing home abuse is on the rise, there actually are a fair number of cases where the accused is proven innocent. This happens for a few reasons. Sometimes, loved ones don’t understand that some of these symptoms can take place naturally as part of the aging process. Sometimes, it’s because a loved one is heartbroken over an injury or loss. Whatever the reason for the accusation, an expert nursing home neglect lawyer can help. Contact the Law Office of Eric Harron today for a free consultation!