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4 signs of nursing home neglect

When you tour a nursing home, they'll make it sound like an ideal place for your elderly loved one to live. It may be, but you need to watch for signs of neglect to make sure that it's as good as advertised.

Remember, the elderly may not report neglect or abuse. They can feel ashamed or they may have trouble remembering what happens. This makes watching for the signs twice as important, as it could be the only way neglect is identified and stopped.

1. Injuries that have no explanation.

The elderly need help with many tasks, even those that seem relatively easy. Look out for scrapes, bumps bruises, cuts and other such injuries that could mean they're not getting the help -- or the medical attention -- they need.

2. Declining hygiene.

Things like taking showers and brushing teeth may be too much for your loved one to do alone, so caretakers should help. It may be a sign of neglect when hygiene is worse every time you visit.

3. Side effects of a poor diet.

If your loved one is not getting proper nutrition, it can lead to all manner of physical side effects. These can include things like weight loss or gain, dehydration or general weakness, just to name a few.

4. Emotional issues.

Those who are being neglected may become sad or depressed when they've been generally happy for the rest of their lives. A talkative person could turn quiet and reserved.

These are by no means all of the signs of neglect, but they give you a very good place to start. If you think your loved one is being neglected or even abused, leading to injuries and declining health, it's important to know all about your legal options.

Source: Next Avenue, "6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect," Sarah Blanchard, accessed April 30, 2017

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