The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that more than 1.7 million older adults live in skilled nursing facilities throughout the country. These facilities, once known as nursing homes, serve older adults with a variety of complex medical challenges and concerns. The majority of skilled nursing facilities operate 24 hours per day without major incidents of neglect or abuse; well trained and compassionate health care professionals serve the seniors in their care with dignity.
However, nursing home abuse can also occur. If you have a loved one living in a skilled nursing facility, or an assisted living or memory care community, it is wise to know red flags that could indicate neglect or abuse. Keep your eyes peeled for any of these signs and follow up immediately with the Administrator of the facility as well as an experienced attorney.
Older adults can experience wounds or skin tears a bit easier than their younger counterparts. This is thanks to medications that cause easier bruising and aging skin that is thinner. However, if your loved one has bruising or skin tears that cannot be explained by a specific incident, it could indicate abuse or neglect.
For seniors who are in a wheelchair the majority of the day, or for those older adults who are confined to bed due to a medical condition, the risk for pressure ulcers are high. Staff at the skilled nursing facility should be working to relieve pressure to sensitive points on your loved one’s body, like the hips or heels. However, if there are pressure ulcers that are not healing, it could indicate abuse or neglect.
Acute Anxiety or Depression
Seniors living with anxiety or depression can be somewhat common. However, if you are noticing anxiety, fear or depression in your loved one that comes on quickly, or that increases upon seeing a certain caregiver, it would be wise to follow up.
Statements of Abuse or Neglect
Finally, listen to your loved one. If you hear any comments or stories about situations that concern you, talk to the caregivers or staff at the skilled nursing facility. It is better to inquire about statements from your loved one than to ignore them or chalk it up to confusion.
If you are facing worries about nursing home abuse or neglect, give the team at O’Brien Law a call. We are well versed in standing up for our clients and can give your loved one the outcome they deserve. Your consultation is free, so call today.