If your elderly loved one can no longer care for himself or herself and relies mostly on the help of others, then you may be considering alternative care methods. Many people choose to take care of their elderly parents, but that may not be an option for you, especially if you have a career and young children.
For many busy families, nursing home care is the only viable option. Making the decision to put your loved one in a nursing home is not easy. You likely are concerned about stories about elder abuse and neglect, and for good reason: Authorities in the United States receive more than 500,000 reports of elder abuse every year.
We rely on healthcare professionals—including nursing home staff—to care for us and our loved ones. We expect a certain standard of care and instead often see negligence in nursing homes, hospitals, doctor’s offices and other settings. This is called medical malpractice and it’s a huge issue.
Do you think your loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse in a nursing home? Here are some warning signs to keep in mind.
Changes in Behavior or Appearance
This is often one of the most obvious signs. If your loved one has suddenly lost a significant amount of weight or seems to have more anxiety than normal, neglect may be to blame. You may also notice bruises or lacerations due to abuse. When you visit your loved one, take time to look over his or her body and look for anything that seems out of the ordinary.
However, keep in mind that many seniors bruise easily, so a bruise could happen simply by bumping into a chair or table. Also, weight loss could be a symptom of your loved one’s deteriorating health. The only ways to know for sure if the nursing home staff is to blame is to stop by unexpectedly and ask questions. If you are worried about your loved one’s condition, speak up.
If your loved one mentions that he or she is often thirsty or hungry, you should be concerned. Nursing home residents should not have to worry about when they will get their next meal. If the facility is understaffed, then nurses may be neglecting the patients. Neglect can be accidental or done on purpose, but either way, if your loved one is suffering from malnourishment, you need to take action before the situation gets worse.
If you visit your loved one and often see frantic staff running from patient to patient—or can’t seem to find any staff around—this is a red flag. There should be adequate staff to properly care for each patient. If the lack of staffing is due to turnover, that’s also not a good sign. When staffing changes frequently, there is often a lack of communication, which means patients aren’t always getting the care they need.
Work with an Experienced Elder Abuse Lawyer in NYC
It can be heartbreaking to pay a nursing home to give your loved one the best care possible, only to find out that your family member is being abused or neglected. Don’t let this situation go unreported. By alerting authorities, you can protect others from the same fate.
If a nursing home’s negligence or abuse caused your loved one to suffer injuries or deteriorated health, take legal action. File a personal injury claim with a Bronx medical malpractice attorneys from Grant & Longworth today. Contact our office at (800) 836-3519 24/7 to schedule a consultation.