Cases of elder abuse and neglect are serious problems throughout the country. Unfortunately, the elderly community in Connecticut is not immune to these issues. In fact, between 2016 and 2019, the number of complaints of elder abuse increased by 29%, a trend that has not changed in recent years.
While many cases of abuse and neglect occur in private homes where family members or skilled workers provide care, these situations are also seen in nursing homes.
If you are like most people, deciding to use the services of a nursing home for an aging loved one is not easy. You will likely put a lot of thought and consideration into the decision and then take time to find the best facility for their care. The hope is that the time and effort you put into this decision will ensure your loved one receives quality care free of neglect and abuse.
Unfortunately, this is not what always happens. You and other family members must watch for signs of neglect and report situations that you discover.
Here, you can learn more about the signs of nursing home neglect. If you suspect your loved one is a victim, contact our Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to learn what legal rights and options you have.
Tell-Tale Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Some of the signs your elderly loved one may be a victim of nursing home neglect include the following:
1. Poor Personal Hygiene
Many elderly individuals live in nursing homes because they need assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living). Part of this is ensuring residents’ hygiene needs are met.
Some residents require assistance clipping their nails, brushing their hair, bathing, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, and more. When someone is being neglected, they must try to do these things on their own, which is often impossible.
One reason that residents’ hygiene needs may be neglected is if the facility is short-staffed. Also, some staff members do not have the education needed to help with these tasks. It has been found that a lack of routine related to dental care is a serious problem in nursing homes across the country.
2. Unsanitary Living Conditions
Nursing homes must provide residents with clean and safe living conditions. If this is not provided, it indicates that residents are being neglected.
Based on federal law, nursing home facilities must provide an infection control program that provides a comfortable, sanitary, and safe environment for residents. They also have to meet the state requirements for security and safety.
You must ensure your loved one has clean bedding and clothing, that the bathroom and kitchen are sanitary, and that there are no obvious or clear signs of problems. If these duties are neglected, it can lead to illness and other health-related problems.
3. Physical Problems Due to a Lack of Nutrition
Neglect may also lead to physical problems like dehydration and malnutrition. This may be caused deliberately or because of a lack of oversight.
Issues related to poor nutrition impact millions of people in nursing homes each year. In fact, it has been found that approximately 20% of nursing home residents around the world are dealing with malnutrition.
Dehydration and malnutrition can be caused by problems that range from improper staffing to a lack of individualized care and high staff turnover rates. Medical issues like difficulty swallowing and depression can also lead to these issues.
4. Lack or Loss of Mobility
For many nursing home residents, mobility is often challenging. Quality nursing homes will ensure that staff members help residents move, exercise, and stay as active as possible.
Some facilities create walking programs to help build strength, and muscle tone, reduce contractures and spasms, increase balance, and improve circulation. If an elderly person is neglected, they may be left in their bed for long periods, which increases the risk that the individual will lose all mobility.
If routine movement is not provided for extended periods, residents can develop other serious health problems. Examples include infections and bedsores.
5. Unexplained Injuries
Things like head injuries, bruises, and broken bones are indications that neglect may be happening. If nursing home residents do not receive assistance to do things, they may try to handle things on their own. Sometimes, this is simple things like walking down the hall, which causes a fall or another preventable injury.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 20% to 26% of Connecticut nursing home residents will fall each year. If the fall is not fatal, the injuries it causes can lead to permanent disabilities.
Your Rights if You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect
If you believe your elderly loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect, you have rights. We recommend contacting our Connecticut personal injury attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to learn more about what these rights are.
We can help investigate accusations of abuse and ensure the responsible party is held liable for their actions. The first step is to call our office to schedule a free initial consultation. We are ready to help ensure you and your loved one receive the justice they deserve.