Many have elderly loved ones whose care we have entrusted with the staff at an assisted living facility or nursing home. Although placing a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision, it is one that many families are faced with. Despite countless hours of research, numerous visits, and multiple interviews with the staff, there is still an unfortunate possibility that your loved one may face abuse or neglect. “Approximately 4 million seniors are victimized by some form of physical or psychological abuse or neglect every year[1].” Abuse can take many forms and is not always apparent in plain sight. A few telltale signs of abuse cases that we frequently see include:

  • Malnutrition – Elderly individuals need the proper nutrition to meet their body’s demands. Symptoms of malnutrition can be seen through mouth sores, flaccid muscles, and redness in the eyes.
  • Dehydration – Many serious health problems start as a result of dehydration. A study conducted on 40 nursing homes showed that 25 out of 40 patients had illnesses that were caused by or related to dehydration. [2] Signs of dehydration include a dry mouth, dry skin, and sunken eyes.
  • Unsanitary conditions – An unclean facility decreases the elderly individual’s quality of life. Signs of unsanitary conditions include mice, roaches, inconsistent cleaning routines, expired food, or infrequent bed sheet changings.
  • Bedsores – A lack of mobility in patients can result in bedsores. Bedsores are typically found on a patient’s buttocks, lower hips, tailbone, ankles, and/or heels.

If something seems out of the ordinary with a nursing home resident, or you believe they are being abused, take timely measures to keep the situation from escalating. Make sure to take diligent notes and photos to record as much information as you can. If you believe your loved one is suffering from malnutrition or dehydration, contact Potter Burnett Law to investigate the case for you.

 

 

[1] SOURCE: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/who-liable-nursing-home-injury-abuse.html

[2] SOURCE: http://nursinghomeabuseguide.com/abuse-injuries/dehydration/