Trusting a nursing home to care for an ailing or aging loved one full-time is a big decision. To put the entire well-being of a family member into the hands of strangers can be difficult.
We want to believe that our family members will be safe in their new environment, but abuse and neglect do happen in nursing homes. While signs of abuse may be more obvious, there are signs of neglect to look out for as well.
A decline in hygiene
If your loved one needs assistance with grooming and personal hygiene, make sure these needs are being addressed consistently. Your loved one should also have regular fresh bedding and clean clothing to promote good health. If you notice a decline in personal care, it is possible that the caregivers are not providing the appropriate level of attention.
Lack of cleanliness
A clean and sanitary living space is also important to overall health. If their bathroom is not properly cleaned, trash removed or floors swept regularly, caregivers may be neglecting their duties.
If your loved one is not getting enough to eat or drink, they may not be receiving proper nutrition. Malnutrition and dehydration can lead to overall weakness in the body and can lead to more serious issues.
A decline in mobility
Nursing homes are where we turn when mobility becomes a challenge. A nursing home can be a great help for people who need assistance in getting around. Nursing home staff should work with residents to exercise as much as they are physically able to in order to maintain whatever mobility they do have. If you notice a decline in the mobility of your loved one, they may not be receiving the level of care they need.
Be an advocate for your loved one. If you notice something that makes you concerned about the level of care they are receiving, do not hesitate to speak up and ask questions. If you confirm your fears, do not hesitate to report neglect to the proper authorities.