Ensuring the safety and well-being of elderly loved ones is a top priority, and for many families, nursing homes are a common choice for specialized care. However, not all nursing homes provide the level of care and security that they promise.
You need to be vigilant and informed about the signs of an unsafe nursing home residence to protect your vulnerable loved ones.
Poor hygiene and sanitation
Hygiene and sanitation are fundamental aspects of nursing home care. A clean and hygienic environment is important to prevent infections and maintain the overall health of residents. If you notice a pervasive odor, dirty common areas or unkempt residents, it could be a sign that hygiene and sanitation standards are lacking.
Unexplained bruises or injuries
Physical abuse is a grave concern in nursing homes. If your loved one displays unexplained bruises, cuts or injuries, you may need to investigate further. These injuries may be indicative of mistreatment.
Malnutrition or dehydration
Proper nutrition and hydration are important for elderly individuals. Signs of malnutrition or dehydration can include rapid weight loss, dry skin, sunken eyes or frequent illnesses. Be attentive to your loved one’s physical condition.
Lack of communication
Open communication between staff, residents and families should happen. However, with 1.7 million licensed beds in American nursing homes as of 2018, staff may struggle to pay attention to each patient the way they should. If you find it challenging to get updates on your loved one’s health or if staff members seem evasive or uncooperative, it may be a sign of an unsafe environment.
Administering medication accurately and on time is important for residents with medical conditions. If your loved one experiences frequent medication errors, such as receiving the wrong medication or incorrect dosages, it can have severe consequences for their health.
Social engagement is important for emotional well-being and isolation can have detrimental effects on mental health. If your loved one appears lonely, withdrawn or rarely participates in group activities, it may suggest a lack of attention to their social needs.
Unfortunately, financial exploitation can occur in nursing homes. Keep an eye on your loved one’s finances, and if you notice unexplained withdrawals, unauthorized charges or missing personal items, it is important to investigate and take action.
If you suspect any of these signs, take immediate steps to address the situation and explore alternative care options if necessary. Seniors deserve the best care possible, and you have a responsibility to ensure their safety and dignity in their golden years.