Know The Signs Of Nursing Home Neglect

We place our elderly loved ones in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities to help them live the lives they can no longer do on their own. By doing so, we trust that they will be properly cared for and given an opportunity to have a better quality of life. Far too often, those same facilities engage in abusive and neglectful behaviors resulting in injuries and deaths to elderly residents.

Falls

While largely preventable with proper supervision, falls account for the vast majority of injuries in people 65 years and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 35 percent of adults ages 65 and older fall at least once each year, making it the "leading cause of injury death" among the elderly. The CDC also reports that between 10 and 20 percent of all falls in nursing homes are serious or even fatal. In some nursing homes that can mean one out of every five falls.

Studies indicate that falls account for the vast majority of fractures in older adults, and can lead to serious medical issues if not treated promptly. Approximately 1,800 elderly patients die each year as a result of nursing home falls. Many of these falls could have been prevented with proper care and attention to the resident.

Signs Of Neglect

Nursing home residents who spend much of their time in bed may also be prone to developing bedsores, which are also referred to as "pressure ulcers." In their early stage, they are merely a red inflammation that can heal quickly. However, when bedsores are neglected and appropriate action is not taken to relieve them, the result can be an injury that penetrates the patent's muscle and skin, and proceeds to infect the bone.

In a facility that lacks appropriate nutritional plans, customized for each resident, it is quite possible that malnutrition will result. This can lead to weakening of the bones, resulting in falls and fractures. In such cases, the patient's immune system may also be compromised, which can result in a wide range of consequences. Pressure sores are the number one preventable injury to elderly people. No resident should be left alone for hours or days on end. This is also neglect.

Signs Of Abuse

If your loved one has suddenly lost weight, is frequently groggy from over-medication, has unexplained bruises or is withdrawn or fearful of the nursing home staff it may be time to get outside help. It only takes one "bad apple" on the staff to make your loved one's life miserable. By speaking up and getting a professional involved you are doing your part to make certain any abuse ends. Calling attention to the issue can also ensure the safety of not only your loved one, but all residents.

Taking Legal Action

If you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse do not hesitate to speak with an attorney. Make certain you document the injuries with detailed and dated notes and photos. An attorney can consult with the facility's medical staff and review the pertinent information related to the case.

When It's Time To Get A Professional Involved

If your loved one was injured or received substandard nursing home care, contact us. Call our Greensboro or Burlington office at 336-285-0925. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged.