No matter how much research you do beforehand, the conditions at an assisted care facility can change over time. What once was the right fit for your loved ones can slide from mismanagement or an inability to adapt to current treatment standards.
How can you tell when nursing home negligence has occurred? More importantly, how can you spot the warning signs before they result in problems for your loved ones?
First, it’s important to remember that not all signs indicate a systemic or chronic issue. Addressing problems as they arise helps prevent deteriorating. Fear of what could be going wrong sometimes stops us from learning what’s actually at stake.
Nursing Home Negligence Indicators
Normal day to day indicators don’t hold up for much. Anyone can have a bad day or a day where nothing seems to be working. When residents of a care facility are visited only at holidays or other special occasions, its easy to get an incorrect picture of care.
Most of these signs are general for the facility and all residents. If you see warning signs that apply only to a specific residents, this is more likely a case of the 6% of residents facing abuse. Keep in mind that these warning signs indicate long-term issues.
Much like a hospital or any other medical facility, nursing homes have mandates to maintain clean conditions. Maintaining sanitation helps the residents to avoid disease and also upgrades their quality of life and comfort.
Lapses in sanitation expose residents to infections as well as food borne and contact illnesses.
Consistent cleaning keeps the facility from developing hazards in entryways and hallways.
Unpleasant odors and harsh odors from stringent chemical use or lack of cleaning can lead to harm for breathing impaired residents.
Food handling conditions are some of the most important, and most often overlooked sanitation hazards. Food serving staff needs to be adequate to deliver and collect meals in a timely manner to avoid foodborne illness.
Staying mobile is important to residents. Lack of mobility increase incidents of psychological deterioration as well as physical.
Residents need to be able to move around to socialize.
Mobility improves circulation, maintains muscle tone, and reduces incidents of spasms.
Mobility does not mean walking or jogging for each resident, rather, it refers to being able to express their mobility fully in their given circumstance.
Bedsores are a common sign of lack of mobility. Residents should spend a minimum of their time in bed. Even sitting is more active than bed rest.
Hygiene and Nutrition
Working with the elderly and disabled can be difficult. They are not always cooperative or reasonable. Even so, the staff a nursing home is trained to deal with these specific issues.
Lax hygiene and nutrition should not be blamed on residents or should be brought to your attention well before reaching levels of neglect.
When care staff refuses to aid or perform basic hygiene it represents a problem. Spiraling hygiene conditions can lead to social problems for your loved ones. This leaves them vulnerable to psychological issues and makes it harder to spot if they are facing other health issues.
Nutritional concerns come next. Poor nutrition leads to dehydration and wasting. These conditions severely undermine health assets, leaving your loved one vulnerable.
Nursing homes should offer a variety of food options to ensure a resident has enough intake to maintain weight. Restriction of food options is a sure sign of neglect.
Emotional issues tend to spiral into other neglect problems. A person withdrawing from the treatment community leaves them vulnerable.
Isolation brought about by neglect complicates everything else. Any change in psychological condition should be evaluated to determine the cause and investigated as a symptom of neglect.
A resident that is not being taken care of, in whatever form that care takes, is by definition being neglected.
You want to see the best treatment of your loved ones. You are keen to spot problems if they arise, but also know that its hard to determine why those problems exist.
If you suspect nursing home negligence is happening, contact us to seek answers. We’re here to help.