When you decide that it’s time for your aging loved one to live in a nursing home, the decision doesn’t come lightly. You’re entrusting care for your parents, in-laws, and other aging family members into the hands of others, and you’re initiating a transition that has ripple effects.
The last thing you want to think about when choosing or assessing a nursing home choice is neglect or abuse. Unfortunately, according to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, the practices of neglect and abuse are not unusual in nursing home environments. In fact, the organization suggests that one in five family members report abuse.
Factors like putting your loved ones in highly rated and licensed nursing homes can help to mitigate this concern, but there’s always a risk when you’re entrusting care.
Aside from taking precautionary steps in choosing the right nursing home facility, you can also be apprised of the signs of neglect or abuse.
Consider these common signs of neglect and medical malpractice from the Nursing Home Abuse Center. If you suspect neglect or abuse, be sure to call Salvatore D. Ferlazzo, Esq. or Mikhail A. Shah, Esq., both of whom are medical malpractice attorneys with Girvin & Ferlazzo.
Nursing Home Falls Are A Sign Of Neglect
Falls are some of the most common signs of neglect, but also the hardest to spot because they’re so much more common in elderly populations.
The statistics raise some troubling realities about nursing home neglect and falls. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CVC) between 16 and 27 percent of nursing home falls result from environmental hazards, such as faulty bed rails, improperly labeled steps, slippery floors, poor lighting, broken furniture, and more.
Prevention Against Falls
A responsive nursing home should implement preventative strategies to minimize the number of falls. If you are looking for the right nursing home or analyzing the safety of your loved one’s current facility, ask whether they implement any or all of the following techniques:
- Risk assessments — nursing homes should complete risk assessments for every resident, including past injuries, general health, medication, cognitive functions, etc.
- Fall prevention strategies — ask whether the nursing home conducts training on proper fall prevention and mitigation.
- Exercise programs — is physical therapy, stretching, or walking available to all residents? Improved strength and balance can help to lessen the effects of a fall.
Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
Especially when it comes to falls, there are a few tell-tale signs that suggest a fall might have happened. When you visit your loved one, be sure to look for bruises, cuts, or abrasions on the lower body, arms, and hips. Additionally, take note of your loved one’s attitude toward walking, standing, and getting up from bed. If they seem trepidatious, it might be a sign that they’ve suffered a recent fall.
Working With A Medical Malpractice Attorney
While this resource just covers the surface of nursing home abuse and neglect, it’s important to remember that you know your loved ones best. If you suspect that something has occurred at a nursing home, there’s no harm in contacting a medical malpractice attorney.
They can consult you and ultimately help to determine whether you should file for civil damages, medical malpractice, wrongful death, financial exploitation, and more.