Nursing home abuse is more common than you might expect. Each year, thousands of residents at long-term care facilities are either injured or lose their lives because they don't receive an adequate level of care. Among the many types of neglectful behavior these individuals' caregivers include not helping residents in moving about, with eating, or with basic hygiene are the most common.
Residents who received inadequate care risk suffering both mental and physical injuries. Family members who are aware of the warning signs their loved ones face are most apt to keep them from suffering unrecoverable outcomes.
State laws require that nursing homes maintain a certain standard of cleanliness and safety. Additionally, under existing federal law, this type of facility must implement certain infection control protocol to contain any chance of a disease's spread.
In terms of personal hygiene, nursing home staff is supposed to ensure that all residents are able to get baths, have their hair combed and nails cut, and their teeth brushed. Lack of routine dental care has been shown to be a big problem faced by nursing home residents.
As for malnutrition, it's estimated that at least 20 percent of nursing home residents are either dehydrated or inadequately fed at any one point of time. In some cases, this can be caused by a resident's inability to swallow.
While well-staffed nursing home facilities will take the time necessary to ensure that residents who lack mobility are able to get the exercise they need, there are many that do not. Residents who do are less likely to fall as they're able to build up the strength in their muscles, increase their balance, or improve their circulation. They also are less apt to get infections like bedsores caused by being confined to their beds.
Data published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that, each year, more than 1,800 elderly nursing home residents have preventable falls. Even more patients experience unexplained broken bones, head injuries, or bruises while living in these types of facilities. Others experience mood shifts whereby they are no longer willing to eat, take their prescribed medications, or to clean themselves.
If your loved one is showing any combination of these warning signs, then you should consult a Columbus, Ohio nursing home neglect attorney right away.
Source: Next Avenue, "6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect," Sarah Blanchard, accessed June 30, 2017