When you read and hear about nursing home abuse, your mind probably goes to one of two types: physical abuse and financial exploitation. Although each of these, along with other types of abuse like sexual and emotional abuse, can and do occur in our nation’s nursing homes, neglect is a common type of abuse that frequently goes unreported because it can be so difficult to define.
Neglect can occur when a facility’s resources are stretched too thin. It can also occur when an individual’s caretakers are not aware of the extent of the care that he or she needs. Whatever the reason why neglect occurs, it can have a serious detrimental effect on the victim’s mental and physical well being.
There are a lot of ways a resident can suffer from neglect. Below are a few examples:
Neglect can have similar symptoms to other types of nursing home abuse. For example, if your loved one suddenly exhibits a changed personality, such as becoming more withdrawn or irritable, he or she might be experiencing neglect. An individual who is suddenly despondent or anxious could also be a victim of neglect.
Physical symptoms of neglect include rapid weight loss, dehydration, a worsened medical condition, and bedsores. Bedsores are lesions under the skin that develop when it is subjected to constant pressure from the individual’s body weight. This can happen when an individual remains in one position for prolonged periods, and individuals who need to be physically moved by their caretakers are especially prone to them. Bedsores are most likely to occur on areas where the skin is close to the bone, such as the hips and elbows.
Other symptoms of neglect can include poor hygiene and a messy room. When you visit your loved one, ask him or her how frequently he or she is bathed and how frequently his or her room is cleaned. Ask about how the room is cleaned and how frequently his or her laundry is washed, including his or her sheets, blankets, and pillow cases.
If you have an elderly parent or other loved one who currently resides in a nursing home, protect him or her from neglect by being a constant presence in his or her life. Visit and call as often as you can and make it a point to get to know the staff who regularly care for him or her. If you suspect your loved one is not receiving the level of care he or she needs, contact an experienced nursing home neglect attorney to discuss your loved one’s rights and your options for filing a claim on his or her behalf. To learn more, set up your consultation with Chicago nursing home abuse attorney Thomas A. Morrissey of The Law Offices of Thomas A. Morrissey.
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