No one likes the idea of having to go into a nursing home. However, many people become too ill to live on their own. They need the assistance that a nursing home can provide. Sometimes, though, the nursing home staff neglects or mistreats the people they are supposed to care for.
It can be difficult to tell if your family members are being mistreated. They might be scared to talk about it, or they might not be aware of it. If your relative has Alzheimer's or dementia, they might not be able to comprehend what is happening.
So, here are some things to look for to tell if your family member is being mistreated.
The Smell Test
Many people in nursing homes cannot bathe themselves. This means that the staff is responsible for making sure that they have showers. Unfortunately, sometimes the staff is lax about this task. They might skip shower days.
When you visit your family member, see if they have an odor. If they do, it might be a sign that they are not being bathed.
Another problem that causes a bad odor is neglect in changing adult diapers. Many people in nursing homes are incontinent and need to wear adult diapers. They also need to be changed. Finding that they need to be changed once is not a big deal. However, if you experience this on multiple visits it is clear that there is neglect.
Another sign that your relative is being neglected are skin problems. If they have bedsores, it is a sign that they are being left in bed too long. The staff should not allow people to lie in bed all day and night. Sores can lead to infection.
Your loved one shouldn't look like they are on a crash diet. If you visit, and see that your family member is losing weight, it's a sign that they are not being fed enough. It is the responsibility of the staff to make sure that the residents eat. If they just put a plate of food in front of someone, and then take it away later even though it wasn't touched, they are neglecting the person.
What To Do About These Problems
The first thing to do is speak to the supervisor. You should make it clear that you are aware that something is not right. Often times it is enough to make the situation end. If the problem persists, you should contact an attorney that specializes in nursing home abuse, such as The Jaklitsch Law Group. They will provide guidance about what your options are.