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Is neglect an issue at my loved one's nursing home?

While there's no question that nursing home abuse is abhorrent, nursing home neglect can be equally damaging. While these behaviors may fall short of actual physical or emotional abuse, they still cause significant harm to your family member. This is especially true for residents with severely limited mobility, who are reliant on staff for daily assistance. To ensure you can put an end to neglect and get your loved one the care he or she needs, NextAvenue.org explains some of the common signs. 

Frequent injuries

Falls are quite common in older people. Even a seemingly minor fall can cause serious health issues, which is why the staff at nursing homes must be vigilant when caring for residents. Broken bones, bruises, and lacerations can all signal falling accidents, and these injuries may occur on a regular basis if help isn't readily available. The facility itself should be outfitted with the necessary safety features, such as grip bars in the bathroom. Additionally, all staff should be trained on how to help those with decreased mobility. 

Poor living conditions

Many elderly people have compromised immune systems due to illness. This increases their risk of getting sick, especially when living in a dirty and unsanitary facility. Along with providing care to the residents, the staff at assisted living facilities must also ensure that everyone has access to cleaning bedding and clothing, and that common areas are kept clean at all times. Federal law stipulates that nursing homes must meet certain standards or they could face serious legal recrimination. 

Malnutrition

In the same token, it's incumbent upon the staff to provide plenty of clean drinking water and meals that meet residents' nutritional needs. When staff falls short, residents may display signs of malnutrition and even dehydration. These are characterized by weight loss, lethargy, and worsening medical issues. If you notice your loved one exhibiting any of these signs, you must take timely action to ensure the problem is rectified. 

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