Your family took great care in selecting a nursing home for your father. You seemed to do everything right through research, talking with administrators, visiting the home and seeing how staff interacted with the residents. On the surface, you did not see any suspicious signs.
Things seemed to be going well at first. However, gradually, during your visits to see your father, you observed subtle and then blatant signs of abuse and neglect that arouse your suspicions. There were unexplained injuries. Your father’s hygiene was less-than-acceptable due to his disheveled appearance. And then there were the bedsores. It all added up to an untenable situation.
Bedsores, malnutrition, and bruises
If you suspect abuse and neglect at a nursing home, it is important to take action in order to protect your loved one. This is not what you had expected, and now you will not tolerate this situation. It is a matter of life or death, especially in the case of vulnerable adults.
Here are some of the more common injuries that surface in a nursing home, representing potentially alarming signs of abuse and neglect:
- Bedsores: These injuries typically develop when a person is immobile in situations where he or she is lying in bed for lengthy periods or sitting in a wheelchair. They can appear on the buttocks, back of the head, heels and behind the knees. Often, the person does not sense the pain. Bedsores can be severe, leaving painful red spots on the skin. Untreated bedsores can go deep into the body, affecting bones and muscles.
- Malnutrition and dehydration: Inattentive, poorly trained as well as abusive staff members often are to blame. They may not recognize signs that a resident needs help eating, fail to provide them with exercising opportunities or do not follow the proper ways to help residents eat and drink. Residents also may have a difficult time obtaining drinks because they are out of reach.
- Unexplained injuries such as bruises and even fractures: Bruises that appear on the arms, legs and face of your loved one should spark major suspicions, and so should broken fingers, hands, arms, ankles and wrists. If the staff provides explanations that seem more like excuses, it is likely time to remove your loved one from the home.
Injuries sustained in a nursing home happen and, often, are easily explained. However, some injuries can raise suspicions of abuse and neglect. Trust your instincts and protect your loved one.