After carefully vetting nursing homes, memory care facilities, and assisted living communities for your loved one, the last thing you want to find out is that they’ve been abused by their caretakers. Instead of making their residents’ lives better, some nursing homes cause serious harm that results in severe injuries or even death. Abuse can take many forms from physical abuse to financial theft or neglect. If your parent, grandparent, or someone else close to you has been injured in a nursing home, you may feel overwhelmed and confused about what to do next.
The nursing home might deny any wrongdoing. Your loved one might not even remember exactly what happened. In these complex cases, it’s critical to have someone on your side who understands how the legal system works and knows how to confront nursing homes and dig for the truth. Your voice can also help to protect other seniors in the community by removing abusers from the system.
- Bedsores (also known as “pressure sores” and “decubitus ulcers”): If you visit a loved one in a nursing home and notice open sores, wounds, redness (including red or scaly patches on their skin), inflammation, skin changes, the presence of bodily fluids, unpleasant odors, or if your loved one is in pain, they may have developed bed sores on their body. They are caused by a lack of circulation to a particular area of the body and a majority of them could be prevented by simply turning or moving the patient periodically. Keep in mind that bedsores appear on pressure points that may not be directly visible. If you have any suspicion or concern, examine your loved one’s body at pressure areas such as the shoulder blades, lower back, buttocks, calves, and heels.
- Lack of attention to residents’ personal hygiene, skin rash or lesions, unusual odors or odors of urine or feces: Nursing homes are required by law to provide all the assistance that your loved one needs to help them with their daily activities of life, including assistance with their personal hygiene and all necessary assistance for those residents who are dealing with bladder or bowel incontinence. Failure to maintain personal hygiene (like tooth brushing, hair combing, and providing sponge baths) and properly cleaning bodily fluids from incontinent residents could ultimately result in infections that lead to serious illness or even death. This nursing home neglect is unacceptable and should not be allowed to occur.