If you moved an aging loved one into a nursing home, you likely did so because you worried that you could not meet their needs anymore. Whether they need around-the-clock care due to dementia or physical support due to bodily issues, a nursing home might be a safer place for your loved one than their own home or the house of a family member.
Sadly, while you will likely pay thousands of dollars a month for your loved one to live there, that investment does not necessarily guarantee adequate service and support. Neglect in nursing homes is a common issue, largely caused by the drive for profit.
Keeping staff levels as low as possible can increase how much money the facility makes, but in doing so, they compromise the quality of life of their residents. What are some of the most important warning signs of nursing home neglect?
People often associate bedsores or pressure ulcers with life in a nursing home. After all, these wounds develop when someone remains in the same position for a long time. However, nursing home staff members should understand how to prevent bedsores.
Proper cushioning, frequent rotation and encouraging movement are among the ways that staff members can prevent the development of bedsores. They should also examine patients frequently and actively treat any early warning signs of bedsores so that they do not become more severe.
When there aren’t enough people working at a nursing home, staff members often have to cut corners. This may include not properly sanitizing between residents or not providing residents with daily hygiene and health services.
Lice, bed bugs and scabies can spread anywhere with many people living in close proximity, but nursing homes should be able to spot and treat these infestations and limit how much they spread. Left unchecked, they could lead to dangerous secondary infections while also reducing someone’s quality of life.
Unkempt patients and dirty rooms
Whether you noticed that there is an overflowing trash bin in the community room or a visible layer of dust in your loved one’s shared bedroom, dirty spaces are a sign that there aren’t enough staff members to keep the space clean or that the people working aren’t prioritizing sanitation.
Dirty spaces are concerning enough, but dirty and unkempt residents are another serious concern. A loved one wearing stained clothes or complaining that they have not showered in days is a big red flag warning that the staff cannot provide the quality of life they deserve.
Noticing the signs of nursing home neglect can help you take action before that poor standard of care has lasting consequences for your loved one.