6 Signs of Malpractice in Nursing Homes: Abuse, Neglect and Injury

About 1.3 million seniors are currently living in a senior living facility.

Do you have family in a nursing home? It’s important to ensure they’re receiving the best possible care. Otherwise, malpractice and negligence could impact their quality of life.

They could experience malnutrition or psychological turmoil. That’s only the start.

Here are six common signs of malpractice in nursing homes. By learning how to recognize these signs, you can ensure your loved one receives proper care. You’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re getting the care they deserve.

Keep reading to discover the common signs of neglect and elderly abuse today.

1. Poor Personal Hygiene

Nursing home staff members are expected to aid residents with basic personal hygiene. Some seniors no longer have the mobility they once did. They might need help:

  • Showering/bathing
  • Brushing their teeth
  • Clipping their nails
  • Combing their hair
  • Getting dressed

If your loved one is experiencing neglect, they might fail to accomplish these tasks alone. Instead, they might feel reliant on their caregivers.

If your loved one’s hygiene routine is starting to suffer, look for signs of malpractice in nursing homes. There’s a chance the staff isn’t attending to your loved one.

There’s a chance the staff members lack formal education as well. They might struggle to provide proper health care as a result. Before choosing a nursing home for your loved one, vet the staff.

Make sure they have the credentials necessary to offer the best possible care. Otherwise, their lack of training and negligence could impact your loved one.

Don’t forget to consider your loved one’s oral care as well. If they’re not receiving help, they could develop an oral disease. For example, they might develop gingivitis.

Without treatment, gingivitis could develop into periodontitis. Tooth loss is a common complication. Your loved one might struggle to eat more than they already do.

Make sure the nursing home prioritizes your loved one’s personal hygiene. If they’re not, consider contacting a nursing home malpractice lawyer. They can help you fight for the compensation your loved one deserves.

2. Physical Issues (From Malnutrition)

About 20% of nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition.

Nursing home neglect can lead to both malnutrition and dehydration. It’s possible the nursing home team is understaffed. In some cases, however, it’s deliberate.

Ask the nursing home how they intend to keep your loved one fed and nourished. Do they have a specific meal plan? Do they consider dietary restrictions?

Higher nurse and aide turnover could cause malnutrition. Otherwise, inadequate staffing and training are common, too.

Look for a nursing home that offers individualized care. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your loved one is receiving proper attention. Otherwise, malnutrition can lead to physical issues in the future.

3. Unsanitary Living Conditions

Make sure to tour a nursing home before your loved one becomes a resident. It’s important to find a nursing home that’s clean and safe. Otherwise, unsanitary living conditions could lead to sickness or health-related issues.

Federal law indicates that facilities must maintain sanitary, safe, comfortable environments for all residents. If the nursing home doesn’t maintain clean living conditions, consider filing a lawsuit. Failing to keep the nursing home clean could indicate neglect.

Each nursing home should meet state requirements for safety and security under federal law.

Make sure your loved one is receiving clean bedding and clothing, too. Check their bathroom and kitchen as well. If these areas aren’t sick, it could lead to health complications in the future.

4. Loss of Mobility

Remember, malnutrition could lead to other health issues down the road. For example, your loved one might lack the energy they need to remain mobile. In fact, mobility is a common issue for nursing home residents.

Make sure the nursing home helps its residents move around and exercise. See if they offer physical fitness services as well. For example, they might offer swimming classes.

Swimming is light on the joints, making it an ideal exercise for senior citizens.

The nursing home should help your loved one remain as active as possible. They might offer a walking program to:

  • Reduce spasms and contractures
  • Improve circulation
  • Increase balance
  • Build muscle tone and strength

If they’re not helping your loved one remain mobile, it could indicate malpractice in nursing homes. When your loved one is left in bed for long periods of time, they could develop bedsores. Without regular movement, infections are common, too.

They could risk losing all mobility as a result.

5. Unexpected Injuries

Pay attention to your loved one’s physical state each time you visit them in the nursing home. Unexpected injuries are an indication of neglect or elderly abuse.

For example, does your loved one have bruises or broken bones? These injuries could indicate abuse or neglect. It’s possible they’re not receiving help and injured themselves.

Otherwise, a caregiver used unnecessary force, which led to an injury.

Does your loved one receive help when they move around the nursing home? If not, it’s possible they slipped and fell. Many people die from slip and fall accidents.

Others are permanently disabled, which could reduce their quality of life.

Make sure the nursing home prevents accidents from occurring.

6. Psychological Issues

Abuse and neglect can cause emotional issues as well.

For example, your loved one might appear afraid when a caregiver approaches. Maybe they’re afraid to talk about their issues. Some people get defensive or feel reluctant to talk about what happened.

They might become angry and resentful as well.

In some cases, your loved one will grow distant from family members and friends. They could develop depression, too.

If these issues sound familiar, consider looking into elderly abuse and neglect. Ensure your loved one receives the care they need.

You can learn more about different forms of nursing malpractice here.

Watch for Red Flags: 6 Common Signs of Malpractice in Nursing Homes

Malpractice in nursing homes can impact your loved one’s quality of life. Keep an eye out for these six red flags. If any of these situations sound familiar, consider contacting a malpractice lawyer.

They’ll fight with your loved one’s best interests in mind.

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