Self-neglect is a term that can be “used to describe a vulnerable adult living in a way that puts his or her health, safety, or well-being at risk” [Source: Washington State Department of Social and Health Services]. Many aging individuals who are still living on their own or are living in a nursing home with limited assistance are at risk of self-neglect, especially when they begin developing conditions that interrupt their cognitive abilities. For instance, someone who suffers from a form of dementia might forget that they need to take their medication or prepare their three daily meals they should be getting in.
Now, if you have an aging relative who is still living on their own or they recently relocated to a nursing home in a city within Texas where they are still expected to do certain things for themselves, it is important that you keep an eye out for any signs of self-neglect. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services highlights the following as signs of self-neglect:
- They have poor personal hygiene (i.e. dirty hair, nails, skin).
- They smell of feces or urine.
- They are either unclothed or improperly dressed for the type of weather that is present.
- You notice skin rashes or bed sores (pressure ulcers) developing.
- They are dehydrated, malnourished or appear to be losing a significant amount of weight.
- They forget to put in their dentures or hearing aids or neglect to use their eyeglasses, wheelchair, or walker.
- Their medical conditions go untreated.
- They misuse drugs or alcohol.
- You witness an unexpected or unexplained worsening of health or living conditions.
Now, below we share some signs that serve as key indicators that your loved one might be the victim of self-neglect:
- You notice they appear to be confused or disoriented much more often than normal.
- They are spending too much time alone or isolated from former activities they once took an interest in.
- They display a lack of interest or concern about life.
- You notice self-destructive behaviors or significant behavior changes.
- The begin to hallucinate or seem delusional.
If you notice that your loved one is displaying any of the following signs, it might be time to consider some alternative living conditions for them so that they aren’t left alone any longer. In the event you notice some signs of self-neglect while they are living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility in San Antonio, TX, you may need to speak with the head nurse at the home so that other arrangements can be made so that your loved one can begin receiving the care and attention they now require.
It is important that anyone who has an aging relative who is living alone or in a nursing home take the time to visit them regularly so that you can check on their overall wellbeing and health. Many nursing home residents are often moved into these facilities only to see their relatives every once in a while. But the truth is, a large portion of nursing homes are understaffed which means not only might your loved one be neglecting themselves but the staff workers there may also be guilty of ignoring his/her needs as well. Therefore, to prevent from having your relative live in an unhealthy or unsafe environment, take the time to visit them on a consistent basis.
I think my loved one is being neglected while living in a nursing home. What should I do?
If you suspect that your mom, dad, grandmother, or grandfather is the victim of neglect, it is best you contact a San Antonio, TX nursing home abuse lawyer who can investigate into the matter and find out what is going on. It may also be in your best interest to start devising a plan on what you should do in the event you need to relocate your loved one to a new nursing home facility. In the event your TX nursing home abuse lawyer finds that your family member is, in fact, the victim of neglect, they will then share with you the different options you have in terms of addressing the issue.
If you need help finding a lawyer in San Antonio, TX or a nearby area, contact USAttorneys.com today. We can get you connected with a local attorney who not only specializes in handling nursing home abuse matters, but with someone who is going to give your case the attention it requires.