Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

In late September 2012, Teresa Kermani went missing from her St. Petersburg nursing home. According to police she just walked out of the facility. While nothing has been mentioned yet about this being a case of nursing home neglect, some of the signs appear to be present.

Nursing home neglect happens when the workers or operators of a nursing home either fail to provide proper care for their patients or commit an act of medical negligence, common neglect or criminal abuse. Failing to properly supervise a patient like Teresa Kermani is just one sign of potential neglect. Here are five other signs of nursing home neglect that should be watched for to insure proper care of your loved ones.

  • Eating, Drinking and Bathing. Nursing homes are obligated to provide proper hydration, nutrition and hygiene for residents. Signs such as weight loss, fatigue or dehydration, and an unkempt appearance including tooth decay, tangled or knotted hair and foul odor may indicate a lack of care in these areas.
  • Administering Medication. Nursing homes must provide proper medications in the right dosage and frequency. They also are prohibited from using anti-psychotics to control behavior without a proper diagnosis. Erratic or unexplained changes in behavior or new medications being administered without a medical explanation may be signs of neglect.
  • Preventing Falls. The American Geriatrics Society estimates that 1,800 deaths per year result from falls in nursing homes. Nursing homes without a risk prevention plan for falls or proper equipment such as grab rails in walkways and toilets, lowered beds with rails and raised toilets are likely candidates for neglect.
  • Responding to Call Lights. Residents should be equipped with an alerting system such as a panic button or call light. Failure to provide this or respond in a timely manner to a signal may create a risky situation.
  • Preventing Bedsores. Nursing homes should turn immobilized patients over regularly and providing them with assisted exercise to prevent bedsores. The presence of these sores is a danger sign.

You can prevent nursing home neglect by recognizing these signs when they happen. If you think that this is happening to a loved one then please give my nursing home abuse law firm a call to discuss your options.

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