How to Spot Nursing Home Neglect?

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Having to put a loved one in a nursing home isn’t an easy decision but because many families aren’t able to provide the care their elderly loved one requires, they are left with no choice but to do so. If you have an elderly relative who is currently living in one of these facilities, it is extremely important that you keep your eyes open for any signs of abuse and neglect to ensure your relative isn’t being mistreated and is receiving adequate care.

The fact is, many of the individuals who are living in a nursing home are immobile or suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia and often don’t know how to tell their family that they are being abused or neglected so it is your duty to pay attention to any red flags that might indicate they are suffering.

In an effort to guide you in determining if your loved one is being neglected, we share with you below some red flags that generally indicate some level of neglect is occurring.


  1. Poor personal hygiene. Residents who live in a nursing home generally need assistance with keeping up with their personal hygiene. Things like dressing, bathing, combing their hair and clipping their nails aren’t as easy as they once were which means the nurses have to assist them with these tasks. If you see that your loved one is wearing dirty clothing or shows signs that they haven’t showered, you may want to speak with the head nurse or another higher up staff member to find out why. Sometimes, when a facility is understaffed or their workers lack formal education on how to care for these residents, things like hygiene get overlooked.


  1. Physical issues from lack of nutrition. If your loved one isn’t being fed nutritious meals, it is going to show in their physical abilities. If they appear to be sluggish or not their usual self, this may be a sign that they are malnourished or dehydrated.


  1. Lack of mobility. Although there are many nursing home residents who are unable to move frequently, if you find that your loved one is left in bed for long periods of time, it may be a sign that the staff is neglecting them. A good nursing home is one that encourages residents to move around, exercise, and remain as active as possible.


  1. Unexplained injuries. Many elderly residents require assistance with things like going to the bathroom and getting in and out of bed. However, if they aren’t being provided with the required help to do these things, it can lead to falls. So, if you see unexplained bruises or find out that they have broken a bone or suffered a head injury without an explanation as to why, this might serve as another red flag that it is time to move your loved one to another location and report the injuries.


  1. Psychological issues. If your relative becomes afraid of their caregivers, gets upset frequently, appears to be suffering from depression, or grows distant from you or another family member, this may be a sign that neglect is occurring, and it is causing your loved one to suffer mentally.


[Source: Next Avenue].


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Many nursing home residents can’t stand up for themselves or complain when they are being neglected so it is your duty to look out for them and for red flags that indicate they aren’t being treated properly.

Whenever you witness signs that point to neglect, don’t hesitate to speak up and discuss the issue with a higher up staff member. If you find that your complaints aren’t being handled properly and would like to find out more about what other forms of action you can take, another option you have is to discuss the problem with a Lake County, IN nursing home abuse attorney. can help you connect with a nursing home neglect lawyer now who will not only take the time to listen to your concerns, but work with you to address them.

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