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5 Red Flags of Nursing Home Abuse


It can be scary to hand over the care of a loved one to a nursing home. Nursing homes don’t always have the best reputation, and there are horror stories all over the web. While you can’t always tell the true safety of a place at first glance, there are red flags to look out for to make sure that your loved one is not in a dangerous situation.

Poor Hygiene


The elderly are typically very susceptible to illness, and their bodies cannot fight it off as well as a younger person might, so hygiene, both personal and environmental, is extremely important.

Nurses and staff are expected to understand this importance and respond accordingly. Many residents need help with taking showers, getting dressed, brushing their teeth and hair, clipping their nails, and many other hygienic needs. If these needs are not taken care of, the resident can suffer not only from discomfort, but also from potential illness.

The same importance of cleanliness rings true for the living conditions. A nursing home is required to provide safe and clean living conditions, and if this is not the case, then you should truly consider looking elsewhere. Federal law states that these facilities must establish and maintain some type of infection program. If this is not the case you should not only remove your loved one, but you should also consider reporting the facility.

Unexplained Injuries


While it’s true that the elderly are more likely to bruise or break a bone, you should never let a loved one’s injury go without full and total explanation. These types of injuries can be a huge indicator of neglect or even abuse. Make sure that your loved one is receiving the help that he needs so that he is not attempting to do it all on his own. If this happens more than once, then you should really question the safety of the facility and consider looking elsewhere.

Decreased Mobility


Any professional knows the importance of the elderly exercising in order to maintain mobility. Therefore, an educated nursing home would make sure the staff help residents move around, but still allow the residents to exert what they can and stay active.

If your loved one shows a significant decrease in mobility, it may be a sign of neglect. It is also important to make sure that your loved one is not developing bedsores or infections. These are also a result of neglect, and they should trigger a huge red flag.

Inadequate Nutrition


A nursing home is not only responsible for making sure that a resident is eating, but that she is getting the right nutrition and drinking the right amount of water for her lifestyle. Poor nutrition is a common occurrence in nursing homes and it is a definite red flag to look out for. Be sure to always take note of how much and what your loved one is eating a day.

Severe Emotional Changes


While this is likely to occur at the beginning of a person’s stay in the nursing home, continued change in emotion is a huge red flag that can indicate abuse. Any type of fear that your loved one may express toward a caregiver should not be taken lightly. It should also be taken into account if a loved one begins to grow distant from those they care about. Any change in emotion should be addressed immediately.

The hope is always that you can recognize and address these red flags before it’s too late, but if your loved one is mistreated by a nursing home, a nursing home abuse lawyer can help. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.