For thousands of seniors, nursing homes are a welcome refuge from the challenges of advancing age. It’s crucial, however, to remain vigilant and be able to spot signs of neglect in a nursing home, since this can have serious effects on a senior’s health and wellbeing. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs, so keep an eye out for any of the following signs that your senior loved one is suffering neglect in their nursing home.
1. Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is most commonly noticed through poor physical grooming and hygiene. If you notice your loved one hasn’t had their hair washed or groomed in a while, or their skin is extremely dry and itchy, there’s a good chance they are being neglected. Other warning signs can occur in the form of:
- Unclean clothing
- Unbrushed teeth
- Ongoing body odor
- Unwashed hair
Another major warning sign of nursing home neglect is health issues that don’t have an adequate explanation. If you start to notice your loved one suffering from unusual ailments or conditions that don’t have an explainable cause, they may be facing nursing home neglect. Other signs to look out for are:
- Unexplained bruises or wounds
- Continuous health decline
- Development of bed sores
- Incorrect/lack of medication dispensed
For the sake of your loved one’s health, it is important to stay vigilant and trust your instincts if you suspect any signs of neglect.
2. The Severity of Elderly Neglect
Elderly neglect is a growing problem in many parts of the world. Not only is it a morally and ethically wrong act, but its insidious nature often results in serious, and sometimes irreversible health consequences for elderly people.
can range from mild to severe. Cases of mild neglect can include negligence in giving an elderly person medicine or not providing them with proper nutrition, while severe cases of elderly neglect can involve physical abuse or denial of basic needs such as shelter or clothing. The biggest issue with elderly neglect is that it is often only discovered as a result of health conditions that are likely to be irreversible.
- Mild Neglect – Not providing an elderly person with adequate nutrition or medicine.
- Severe Neglect – Physical abuse or denial of basic needs such as shelter or clothing.
Elderly neglect can be difficult to spot, and it is often missed by caregivers and family who are responsible for the welfare of an elderly person. To ensure that elderly people remain safe and well-cared for, it is important to be observant about their well-being and to report any cases of elderly neglect to the proper authorities.
3. Providing Quality Care for Senior Loved Ones
Providing quality care for a senior loved one can be a complex task, involving dedication and patience. As family members, it is important to create a safe and comfortable environment for your elderly family member. Here are some things you can do to help ensure they are receiving the necessary care they need:
- Light Housekeeping – Through simple tasks like making the bed, folding laundry, and vacuuming the rugs, you can help create a pleasant environment for your loved one.
- Transportation – While your elderly loved one may not be able to drive, it is important they can still get to and from their necessary appointments. Whether you take them yourself, or enlist professional assistance, it is important they have a way to get around.
At times elderly family members may also need additional assistance that you are unable to provide. Providing access to and researching the best quality assisted living facilities and healthcare providers for your elderly family member is important. Professionals in the field of senior care have the right equipment and skills to ensure that your loved one is getting the nurturing and quality care that they need.
4. How to Protect Your Family from Nursing Home Neglect
The elderly are a vulnerable population that needs to be protected. Nursing home neglect is something that should not be taken lightly, it can cause health and emotional problems for your loved one. It is important to be aware of the signs of nursing home neglect and to take action to protect your family.
Here are some tips to help protect your family from nursing home neglect:
- Conduct Regular Check-Ins: it is important to stay in close contact with your loved one in a nursing home and to do regular check-ins. Talk to the staff and check for any signs of neglect that you may see.
- Research the Facility: it is sensible to do some extensive research on the facility before making any decisions. Find out if there have been any reports of abuse or neglect in the past and make sure there are satisfactory answers.
- Speak Out: if you suspect abuse or neglect is happening, speak out. Let the staff know that you are aware of the situation and report anything suspicious to the proper authorities.
- Trust Your Instincts: Above all, trust your instincts. If something seems off or wrong, it probably is. Don’t be afraid to take action to protect your loved one.
The tragic reality is that in many nursing homes, neglect can go unnoticed and unpunished. But if you know what signs to look for, you can help ensure your senior loved one is receiving the care and attention they deserve. And make sure that your voice is heard when their care needs to be improved. With your help, no one needs to suffer in silence from neglect.