When your family member lives in a nursing home, you count on the staff of the facility to provide excellent care. Though most nursing homes provide outstanding service, you may worry about the potential for neglect.
If you believe that your loved one is not receiving proper care, you can take these steps to protect your relative.
Know the signs
Though many symptoms of neglect are obvious, others are less noticeable to the untrained eye. Because the elderly are often afraid or unable to report problems, you should watch for these warning signs:
- Physical harm, including bruises, cuts, burns and sores
- New or worsening anxiety or depression
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Missing belongings or medications
- Poor hygiene
In addition to these indicators, any other unexpected changes, both physical and psychological, should cause immediate concern.
Document your concerns
If you believe your relative is a victim of nursing home neglect, you should thoroughly document your suspicions. Your records can be helpful if you need to make a report to authorities later. You may want to take photos of physical symptoms as proof of the harm your family member has suffered.
Report the neglect
If you believe your relative’s life is in immediate danger, you should not hesitate to call your local police. For all cases of neglect, you should report your suspicions to the proper authorities.
You may not know what your next steps are, but legal counsel can help you determine the appropriate actions to take when your loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect.