The Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Serious cases of resident neglect or abuse by nursing home staff can result in pain, injury, radical personality changes, and even death. But even minor cases can reduce the victim’s physical abilities, functioning and quality of life. The loss of confidence and fear of injury that often results from such treatment can lead to further functional decline, depression, feelings of helplessness, and social isolation.
What can I do about it?
Contact us for a free pamphlet that offers tips for identifying these and other problems:
- Bedsores/Pressure Sores: A serious problem for the elderly, as well as anyone whose injury or disability causes them to spend long periods without moving.
- Falls: Walking problems or physical frailty account for nearly 25% of these accidental falls among seniors, but nearly as many can be attributed to negligence or unsafe conditions.
- Physical Neglect: Warning signs usually indicate a chronic problem with one or more members of the staff.
- Sudden Weight Loss/Malnutrition: Some consumer watchdogs estimate that 1/3 of America’s 1.7 million nursing home residents are at risk of malnutrition and dehydration. Others fear the number may be as high as 85%.
- Physical Abuse: Abrupt changes in a loved one’s behavior or personality may be a sign of emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
- Sexual Abuse: Weak, impaired or otherwise defenseless residents are easy prey for sexual predators.
- Emotional Abuse: Physical abuse may leave cuts or bruises; emotional abuse can be harder to detect.
- Improper Medication: There are many things that can cause personality changes. It may be the unfortunate but natural progression of dementia. But it may also be the result of improper medication — too much, not enough, or just plain wrong.