Deciding to move a loved one into a nursing home is a big decision. For many, it means giving up their home, comfortable surroundings, and the routine they have has for many years. However, for many older adults, living in a nursing home helps them enhance their quality of life. It removes the stress of having to manage a household, healthcare appointments, and more.
When a nursing facility is well-run, it is a blessing to both the residents and their families. It provides individuals with a safe, healthy living environment, social activities, healthy food options, and access to the care they need when they need it. However, when a facility fails to meet the appropriate standards, it can lead to neglect and abuse of residents.
Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe & Healthy
Moving into a nursing home is an act of trust. You and your family put trust in the facility staff to care for your loved one and keep them safe. It can be difficult to trust that others will give your loved one the proper amount of care and attention. This is what makes elder abuse, or nursing home negligence cases, so heartbreaking — it is not only a betrayal of trust to the resident, it is a betrayal to their families.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent nursing home negligence and identify the warning signs that your loved one is being mistreated.
Make Visiting a Priority
Moving into a nursing facility is a major life change for both the resident and their families. It is important to make visiting a priority. Regular visits help you maintain your relationship with your loved one but also gain an understanding of the quality of care offered. Varying the times and days of your visit will expose you to the performance and attitude of the care staff at different shifts!
Ask Questions & Act As An Advocate
If you have played a role in designing a care plan for your loved one, it is important to follow up with the facility to make sure they are receiving the care they deserve. During admission, the facility staff should review the resident’s rights and your rights as a resident’s representative. Knowing what rights you have as an advocate for your family member one can help prevent negligence and create accountability for the facility.
Getting to know the team caring for your loved one can go a long way. Not only does it help to create familiarity between your family and the facility staff, but it can also help the staff get to know their residents better. When the staff has a better idea of what your loved one likes and dislikes, it can help them provide more personalized care. In addition, it is important to recognize when the staff is doing a good job.
Identify The Warning Signs
The most important factor in identifying and preventing abuse is remaining active in your loved one’s life. Also, you should learn the signs of nursing home abuse, and if your loved one is affected.
Signs to Look Out For:
- Bruise marks anywhere on the body
- Isolated personality
- Lack of interest in social events
- Visible weight loss
- Lack of medical aids such as medication, glasses, walkers, and so on
- Basic hygiene issues
- Sunken eyes
- Skin breakdown & bed sores
- Frequent falls
- Signs of restraints
- Extended drowsiness
- Dried and cracked lips
- Vacant stares
Suspect Abuse or Neglect? Reach Out & Take Action
We understand the sensitive nature of these cases. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect, do not hesitate in taking steps to ensure their safety. By remaining proactive about their health and wellbeing, you can improve their quality of life and living situation.
For those looking to receive legal counsel on nursing home abuse and negligence, Chiariello & Chiariello can help. Our attorneys have over 50 years of experience in proving fault and standing up for the rights of the injured and vulnerable.