7 Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence

Posted on: 22 February 2017

With the number of people living in nursing homes rising rapidly due to the aging population, compensation claims for nursing home negligence and abuse are becoming more common. However, many relatives don't know how to tell if an elderly relative is being abused or neglected in a nursing home. If you are worried about a friend or family member, here are seven warning signs to look out for.

1. Unexplained Injuries

Nursing homes should be safe environments, where steps are taken to reduce the risk of accidents for residents. If your relative develops an injury, you need to speak to staff to find out how it was caused. Sometimes, injuries are the result of accidents that could have been prevented through proper care. The nursing home should be able to provide a full incident report that explains what happened to cause the injury.

2. Frequent Bruises

Bruises can also be a sign of mistreatment or rough handling by nursing home staff. Although one bruise isn't necessarily a sign of abuse, a nursing home resident who always has bruises may be a victim of abuse.

3. Dehydration or Malnutrition

If your relative is dehydrated or losing weight in a nursing home, you need to find out why. Employees may not be giving your relative the help they need to feed themselves or failing to provide enough food and drink.

4. Medication Errors

When elderly or sick people don't take their medications on time, the medical consequences can be very serious. Failing to give required medications is a form of nursing home negligence that should never be ignored.

5. Dirty Clothes or Bedsheets

People living in nursing homes should be washed regularly and changed into clean clothes when necessary. Bedsheets should also be changed and washed regularly. If your relative is always wearing dirty clothes when you visit, this could be a sign of neglect.

6. Pressure Sores

Immobile people need to be moved regularly to prevent pressure sores from developing. These sores, which usually develop on the back or buttocks, can develop serious infections that can be life-threatening.

7. Strained Relationships

Pay attention to the relationship between your relative and the nursing home staff. If your relative appears frightened or employees show signs of anger or hostility, that could be a red flag for abuse.

If you suspect that your relative is being abused or neglected in a care home, the first step is to speak to the home's manager. Clearly spell out your concerns and ask for explanations of the issues that you have noticed. If the situation does not improve or the manager brushes off your concerns, you may want to contact a medical compensation lawyer, who can review the situation and let you know if you could bring the case to court.


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