It is common as a caregiver to have mix feelings about putting your elderly parent into the nursing home. Making this decision is usually the last resort. You would prefer for your parent to stay independent or for family members to take care of your parent. Regardless of the reason for the decision, you want your loved one to be cared for with compassion. Read on to find out how to determine if your elderly parent is suffering from nursing home abuse.
Check For Good Personal Hygiene
Nursing home staff is expected to help residents with basic personal hygiene. Your elderly parent should have help with bathing, hair styling, brushing teeth and nail trimming. When someone is neglected, the person is left to do personal care without any help. Many nursing home residents need help and cannot take care of their own personal needs.
If you go to visit and your loved one and he or she smells, then this is a bad sign. When a nursing home does not have enough staff, the hygiene routine usually suffers. Unfortunately, the resident may not get a bath every night.
Check For Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is very rare but can occur in nursing homes. You want to check for bruises and injuries. If you come for a visit and your loved one has a broken bone, then you need to ask the reason for the injury. A bad sign is when staff does not have an answer or an unrealistic answer.
Some people have to take certain medications every day. If your parent is not getting his or her medication, then it could be abuse. Other signs include broken prescription glasses, dislocations, signs of restraints and refusing to let you be alone with your parent.
Lack Of Mobility
Mobility is an issue for many nursing home residents. A good nursing home makes sure staff gets regular exercise and remains active. For example, some facilities have a walking program. Walking helps with circulation, builds muscle tone and strength. If a resident is being neglected, then he or she stays in bed for long periods. You also want to check for bed sores.
The first reaction is to report the nursing home to Adult Protective Services. However, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. It can take Adult Protective Services a while to respond or they may not respond at all. A nursing home neglect lawyer or personal injury attorney can help you gather evidence and put you in touch with the right organizations to help your loved one.