Nursing home neglect and abuse are serious issues. They negatively impact the well-being and dignity of some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
Understanding the signs of such neglect and abuse is crucial for ensuring the safety and proper care of elderly individuals in long-term care facilities.
Bruises and lacerations
Bruises, lacerations or other unexplained injuries can be a clear sign of physical abuse or neglect. These injuries might occur due to rough handling, falls or even physical assaults. It’s important to note the location and frequency of these injuries, as they may provide clues about their cause.
Frequent falls can indicate a lack of proper supervision or assistance. Elderly residents often require help with mobility, and a failure to provide adequate support can lead to falls, which are a significant cause of injury in nursing homes.
A noticeable decline in personal hygiene or a consistently unkempt appearance can signify neglect. This might manifest as dirty clothing, poor dental care or a general lack of cleanliness, suggesting that the resident isn’t receiving appropriate help with personal grooming.
Wearing unsuitable clothing for the weather or occasion can indicate that the resident isn’t receiving proper attention. This might include wearing heavy clothing on hot days or lacking adequate winter clothing in cold conditions.
Malnutrition or dehydration
Signs of malnutrition or dehydration, such as sudden weight loss, dry skin or confusion, can indicate that the resident isn’t receiving adequate nutrition or fluids. This can be due to neglect or intentional withholding of food and water.
Withdrawn or sullen behavior
Changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, sullen or uncommunicative, can be indicators of emotional or psychological abuse. This could stem from verbal abuse, threats or other forms of intimidation.
Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, occur when a person is left in one position for too long without being moved. They are often a sign of neglect in individuals who are bedridden or have limited mobility.
Victims of nursing home neglect or abuse may choose to file legal action in order to demand justice. Victims or their loved ones may, therefore, significantly benefit from seeking legal guidance when mistreatment has occurred.