Hearing the many news stories focused on abuse or neglect at nursing facilities likely leaves you feeling concerned for your own loved one. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine where or when neglect may occur.
Noticing red flags can help you react quickly if you suspect neglect is at play, though. On top of that, it allows you to avoid potentially poor facilities in the future, too.
Intentional and unintentional neglect
Care Pathways looks into potential signs of nursing home neglect. First, understand where neglect comes from. It often differs from abuse in several ways, though neglect can end up considered abusive in its own right. Abuse often happens due to the aggressive and malicious intentional actions of those on staff.
Neglect often occurs due to shortages in staffing or an overload of patients, making it impossible for workers to give everyone the care they need. Neglect may also intentionally occur though, as a form of punishment or penalty, or a display of power hunger from staff members wishing for someone to exert control over.
Signs indicating neglect
When looking for signs of neglect, pay attention to the victim first and foremost. Have you noticed changes in their health or behavior? Many victims will grow sullen or withdrawn or may behave aggressively or in an agitated manner. Health-wise, you may notice signs of malnourishment or dehydration. You could also notice bed sores or pressure ulcers, which occur if a victim who cannot move well on their own does not have staff moving them often enough.
Pay attention to staff, too. Do people constantly seem to get fired and hired? Does the staff seem secretive or refuse to communicate well with you? Do they always seem busier than they can effectively manage? If the answer is yes, you may have a case of neglect on your hands.