When you place a loved one, whether it’s a father, mother, aunt, uncle, or any other relative in a nursing home, you want to make sure that they are taken care of. The last thing you want (and what many people worry about overtime) is that your loved one is being neglected.
It’s one thing to visit and see the condition of the nursing home upon intake, but what about when you’re not there? What happens when no one’s looking? Below are 5 signs of possible nursing home neglect.
1. Resident’s Behavior Suddenly Changes
If you know your loved one well who is living in the nursing home, then you’ll certainly be able to pick up on any changes in behavior. These changes can sometimes be subtle, or more obvious. If a formerly outgoing and friendly individual suddenly appears withdrawn, fearful, or shy, this could be a sign that he or she is being intimidated or abused.
Of course, there are medical ailments and conditions that could be a cause of this change so it’s important to look for any physical signs as well. You can also ask your loved one about the care they’re receiving and pay attention to how they answer as well as what they say.
2. Cleanliness of the Nursing Home
If the nursing home tends to be rundown and appears to be in an overall unclean state, this could be due to a number of factors, including understaffing. This can also lead directly to the neglect of the residents. If the staff doesn’t have time to tend to the basics, they might not be tending to the more important needs of the residents, which leads to neglect.
3. Unfriendly, Curt, or Rude Staff
Working in a nursing home can certainly be a stressful profession, but there’s no excuse for rude or obnoxious behavior from the staff. If staff is rude to you or others, then odds are they’re being rude to the residents as well. In order to determine whether staff behavior is normal or just a one-time offense, visit on different days, show up unexpectedly, and determine how you’re treated during those times. This can provide a great deal of insight into the condition that your loved one is enduring.
4. Items Missing
If your loved one reports that items of theirs go missing, certainly report it to the nursing home director. This could be a sign of abuse or neglect, but it could also be a sign of senility, dementia, or simply forgetting where he or she put something.
If you notice that your loved one is suddenly losing weight or appears dehydrated, complains about being hungry, reports a lack of proper meals, or any other nourishment deficiencies, this could be a sign of abuse.
It’s difficult enough to place someone you love in a nursing home and you want to ensure that they are receiving the highest level of care possible. However, if you suspect nursing home neglect, it’s important to follow through to determine the true state of your loved one’s health and conditions at this facility.
By checking in regularly, paying random visits, and being on the lookout for changes in your loved one’s health and behavior, you can help prevent a bad situation from escalating and being detrimental to your loved one’s health and well-being.