When you entrust the care of your loved ones to a nursing home, it becomes crucial to ensure their safety, health and well-being. According to Human Rights Watch, understaffing of nursing plays a big part in the negligence of patients. Every visit to the nursing home becomes an opportunity for you to assess the quality of care. It is essential to stay alert and watchful, ready to identify any signs of neglect or abuse.
No matter how renowned or well-recommended the facility is, you need to ensure it lives up to its reputation. Here are four red flags that can hint at subpar care.
1. Unexplained injuries or illnesses
One of the most alarming signs is when your loved one starts showing signs of unexplained injuries or illnesses. Frequent falls, bruising, unexplained weight loss, dehydration or pressure ulcers are strong indicators of poor supervision and neglect. Informed Patient Institute has a Pennslyvania tip sheet to help you interpret these signs and know who to reach out to you if you suspect nursing home neglect.
2. Changes in behavior or mood
Another red flag is a change in the mood or behavior of your loved one. If they start appearing unusually upset, fearful or withdrawn, it may suggest that they are unhappy or uncomfortable with the care they’re receiving. Depression and sudden shifts in behavior could be indicators of emotional abuse or neglect.
3. Poor personal hygiene
Poor personal hygiene is another sign of neglect. When you visit, observe if your loved one is well-groomed and clean. Neglecting basic grooming could signify staff shortage or indifference to the personal needs of the residents. If your loved one always appears unclean or unkempt, you may need to question the staff about the level of personal care they give.
4. The staff’s attitude and behavior
The attitude and behavior of the staff towards the residents can tell you a lot about the care quality in a nursing home. If you notice that the staff is often disrespectful, rushed or indifferent, it can indicate problems with the care provided.
Your loved ones deserve dignity, respect and compassion in their golden years. By staying alert to these red flags, you can ensure that they are receiving the quality care they deserve in a nursing home.