Work and other obligations make it challenging and almost impossible to provide the kind of care an elderly individual needs. For that reason, you decided to move your elderly loved one into a nursing home or long-term care facility. It gives you peace of mind knowing there are professionals looking after them and attending to their daily needs.
The problem is nursing homes are struggling with staff shortages and underqualified caregivers because nurses in Oklahoma feel underpaid and overworked. Therefore, elder residents with declining health and reduced mental capacity are even more susceptible to abuse and neglect. Caregivers and nurses may take advantage of their vulnerability and fragility by neglecting to give them the care they deserve. But how do you know if it is happening to your loved one?
Signs your loved one is suffering from neglect
The first time you visit your loved one in the nursing home, you may already be able to tell whether they are happy there or want to go home. Sometimes, they could just be homesick, which is natural. After more visits, you notice a change in their demeanor and overall appearance. Here are red flags to watch out for:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Bed sores
- Unclean appearance
- Unpleasant odor like urine or feces
- Cuts, bruises, wounds, burns or scars
- Agitation around certain staff members
- Withdrawal from activities they used to like
- Depression or anxiety
- Violent behavior or unusual outbursts
Neglect can have serious psychological and physical effects on an individual, especially when they are dependent on the person who is neglecting them.
Holding the nursing home accountable for neglect
You relied on the nursing home to give your loved one the care they advertised and promised. In Oklahoma, if you or your loved one suffered damages or injuries because of another person’s negligence, you can file a complaint against them. You could even take legal action, depending on the situation.