Senior citizens often lose their ability to stand up for themselves both physically and mentally, which is why they need those who love them to stand up to for them. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you need to understand and know the signs of nursing home neglect so you can take action if necessary.
#1 Unexplained Weight Loss
Many older people develop smaller appetites as they age. One's sense of smell and taste diminishes as one gets older, which can result in a smaller appetite. However, this doesn't get rid of one's appetite altogether. Your loved one should still be provided with food that they enjoy eating. It is the responsibility of the nursing home to make sure that your loved one is getting proper nutrition and to contact a doctor if your loved one is not able to eat the number of calories they need to stay healthy.
If you notice that your loved one has lost a lot of weight and a doctor has not been consulted, that is often a sign of nursing home neglect. It is the nursing home's responsibility to keep your loved one's weight up.
#2 Unclean Clothing
Signs of neglect can often be obvious. When you go and visit your loved one, they should be wearing clean clothing. Their clothing should not have sweat stains all over them. Their clothing should not have food stains on it nor should their clothing smell like urine or their bowel movements. Dirty clothing is a strong sign of neglect.
Don't just look at their clothing; look at their bedding as well. Their bedding should be washed on at least a weekly basis. It should not smell foul either. If their bedding and clothing are not being cleaned, it is hard to imagine that the staff is taking care of your loved ones more advanced needs.
#3 Unexplained Injuries
Yes, it is easier to get bruised as you get older. However, your loved one should not be covered in bruises that cannot be explained. Any injuries on your loved one should be easy to explain and account for.
The staff at the nursing home should be trained to change your loved one's position every few hours to prevent bedsores. Bedsores are easily preventable with proper care, which your loved one should be getting at their nursing home. There is no reason for bed sores for any reasons at all.
If you think that your loved one is being neglected at their nursing home, contact a personal injury attorney at a firm such as Strauss and King to get your loved one out of the nursing home. Once you get your loved one to a safe situation, you can pursue a nursing home neglect case with your personal injury attorney.