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What to watch for: 9 signs of nursing home abuse and neglect

You want the best for your loved ones as they age, and maybe that's for them to move into a residential facility. With your busy work schedule, or your young kids who bring home all sorts of germs that could spread to a vulnerable senior, living with you in your North Carolina home might not be an option.

So, you look around and find what you think is an ideal residential facility, but after a number of visits, maybe this isn't the place you thought it was.

How can you tell if your loved one might be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse? Here are a few signs that could give you some clues.

  1. Your loved one isn't as cognitively sharp. They're confused, sleepy or disoriented. This could be because of an overdose of medication or a lack of monitoring for side effects of prescriptions.
  2. Incontinence has set in, or the skin is harmed from infrequent changing of protective underwear.
  3. You can see poor personal hygiene, with basic care needs going unmet. Body odor, unwashed hair and overgrown nails are frequent signs.
  4. It's harder for your loved one to get around, especially if they aren't exposed to regular exercise.
  5. You see sudden weight loss, which could be a sign of dehydration or malnutrition. Check for dry skin, cracked lips and a swollen tongue.
  6. Your loved one has scratches, dislocations, bruises or even broken bones, which could signal rough handling.
  7. You learn of bedsores, open wounds or urinary tract infections.
  8. Your loved one has become disinterested in activities they once enjoyed.
  9. Unexplained accidents or falls become more common, and that can indicate poor supervision or assistance.

People who live in nursing homes or other residential facilities deserve the utmost respect and care. If you suspect your loved one is receiving less treatment and is being negatively impacted, an attorney with experience in personal injury cases can advise of your next step.

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