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Look for these signs of abuse or neglect in a nursing home

We like to think that our loved ones are safe, happy and being well cared for when they go to live in a nursing home. Before helping them decide on their next residence, we accompany them to tour homes, ask questions and check references.

But after the move is made into an Oklahoma nursing home, what if you see signs that all is not what you hoped for when your loved one moved there? If a resident is neglected in a nursing home, physical or psychological damage can result. Here are some signs of potential nursing home neglect.

  1. Unsanitary living conditions. Every bedroom should have clean bedding, a clean bathroom and surface areas wiped clean with a disinfectant. If the nursing home staff neglects to do so, sickness could result.
  2. Bad personal hygiene. The staff should make sure residents have bathed, brushed their teeth, combed their hair and changed clothing. If residents are unable to do so themselves, staff must assist them. A lack of personal hygiene could lead to illness.
  3. Mobility issues. Nursing home staff should see to it that residents are active by getting out of bed and moving around as much as possible. Daily walking helps to maintain or build strength and muscle tone, increase balance and improve circulation. Residents can face conditions such as infections and bedsores if they are left in bed and don’t get exercise.
  4. Improper nutrition. Malnutrition and dehydration can result from improper care and can lead to sicknesses. Inadequate staffing or high staff turnover often are to blame.
  5. Injuries that go unexplained, such as bruises, head injuries or broken bones. Those injuries can be an indication of neglect or abuse.
  6. Emotional issues. Conditions such as depression can be caused by neglect, and they could lead to residents doing things such as refusing to eat or take medication.

If you suspect your loved one is a victim of neglect or abuse and is not providing the expected level of care, talk to the administrator of a local ombudsman for the aging. If you are not satisfied that conditions have improved, an attorney can provide assistance.


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