Nursing homes can be a place of great risk for your elderly loved ones. The facilities are commonly understaffed and, as a result, the staff are overworked. To help insure that your loved ones are being properly cared for, pay attention to the following signs and symptoms when visiting your loved one in order to help identify inadequate care that may be putting them at risk for even more health problems.
Poor personal hygiene
When nursing home staff are overworked, the patient’s personal hygiene needs are often neglected. If your loved one is not getting regular bathing and dental care, that may be indicative of larger problems with their care. Be sure to let the nursing home facility know, in writing, if the patient’s personal hygiene needs are not being met and request a written plan for corrective action.
Malnutrition or dehydration
Nursing home patients are dependent upon the facility for their dietary and hydration needs. However, in many cases those needs are not adequately met. For a patient who is already suffering from health problems, malnutrition or dehydration can compound those problems or lead to other complications. With proper diet and hydration, your loved one should have regular urination and bowel movement patterns. While they may be mundane or uncomfortable topics to discuss, knowing about the food and beverages served to your loved one and the frequency of urination and bowel movements will help you know whether their dietary and hydration needs are being met. Drastic changed in the patient’s weight may also indicate that the facility is not keeping the patient adequately fed or hydrated.
Changes in emotional behavior
You know your loved one’s behaviors and personality and you know when things are not right. If during visits to your loved one you notice disturbing changes in their behavior, such as a reluctance to talk openly about the facility’s services or unexplained anger or hostility, those changes may be signs of larger problems. Other concerning behavior changes include extreme fatigue or disinterest that’s not common in your loved one’s behavior.
Lack of mobility
Keeping track of your loved one’s mobility while in a nursing home is extremely important. Being in a bed for long periods of time without any movement can result in bed sores or pressures sores that can become very large and dangerous if not promptly noticed and treated. Even if your loved one is not confined to a bed, it’s still important to know that they are moving around as expected. A sudden decrease in mobility may indicate that they suffered a fall while in the facility and the severity of any injury from a fall should be quickly evaluated and treated.
You want your loved one to be safe and sound in their nursing home or assisted living facility. One way to help make sure that’s the case is to be observant of the four points above. If your loved one has been seriously injured or neglected in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible about your loved one’s legal rights such as the nursing home abuse lawyer Lakewood CO locals trust.
Thanks to authors at The Mintz Law firm for their insight into Personal Injury Law.