The point of a nursing home is to give older adults and other people unable to provide for their own daily care proper support. Families often turn to nursing homes when an older adult has dementia or limitations on their physical mobility. While you may have turned to a nursing home for the protection of a vulnerable loved one, they may not get the kind of support they actually require.
Many nursing homes do not meet an appropriate standard of care because there aren’t enough staff members or the staff members that are there don’t make patient care their top priority. What kind of physical conditions could be a warning sign of a loved one facing neglect in a nursing home?
Broken bones and head injuries from falls
Older adults are at increased risk of falling, and those falls that they do experience are more likely to lead to serious medical consequences than falls earlier in life. The older someone is, the more likely they are to break bones when they fall. They may also be unable to catch themselves, increasing the risk of a head injury.
Bedsores or pressure ulcers
Pressure ulcers, which many people call bedsores, develop when an individual remains in the same position for extended amounts of time. They often form under the buttocks, under the shoulder blades or on the back of the head when someone cannot get out of bed.
The staff at nursing homes can prevent most bedsores by providing cushioning, helping people move in their beds or supporting residents so they can walk around. Bedsores can be a warning sign of neglect, especially if they lead to serious infections.
Proper cleanliness is crucial to resident safety and quality of life in a nursing home. When staff members fail to clean as they should, infestations of lice, scabies and bed bugs can spread from resident to resident. Such infestations are primarily a nuisance, but they can create serious health risks if they cause infections.
When you realize that your loved one has not received the kind of support they need to remain safe and healthy while living at a nursing home, you may decide that taking action is the best solution. Knowing what nursing home neglect might look like can help you speak up on behalf of a loved one.