At Lisko & Associates in Pennsylvania, we understand that deciding to place your aging and/or ill parent into a nursing home likely is one of the most difficult decisions you will be called upon to make during your lifetime. We also realize that even with your best efforts to find an appropriate nursing home for him or her, abuse and neglect can still occur.
Consequently, you need to remain vigilant every time you visit your parent. Next Avenue explains that the following are the top 6 red flags indicating that your parent is not receiving the care (s)he needs and to which (s)he is entitled.
1. Unexplained injuries
If you ever notice that your parent has a bruise, bump or any other sign of injury on his or her body, this definitely should set off alarm bells in your mind about possible abuse or neglect. Do not hesitate to proactively demand an explanation from the nursing home staff, up to and including the director.
2. Poor personal hygiene
Your parent’s body and clothing should always appear clean and neat. You should never smell body or mouth odor. Nor should you ever observe him or her to be dressed in unlaundered, inappropriate or inadequate clothing. His or her fingernails and toenails should never become overly long, nor should his or her hair ever appear uncombed and/or unkept.
3. Unsanitary living conditions
Your parent’s room should be as clean and neat as (s)he herself should be. Check for excessive clutter and a sparkling bathroom with no hit of odor, dirt or mold.
4. Nutritional problems
Your parent should always look like (s)he is receiving the proper amount of food and liquids. Poor nutrition could result in his or her loss of strength and/or his or her decreased desire to interact with you and/or nursing home staff and/or residents. Pay close attention to any complaints (s)he expresses as to his or her food or drinks.
5. Mobility problems
While it is true that elderly and/or ill nursing home patients generally do not wish to exercise a lot, still, your parent should get out of bed and move around as much as possible. Under no circumstances should (s)he show signs of bed sores from being allowed to lie in the same position too long.
6. Psychological problems
If your parent seems to become more distant, depressed, or uncommunicative as time goes on, this is another red flag of possible nursing home abuse, especially if (s)he complains about one or more specific caregivers. Again, be as proactive as you need to be in order to resolve this problem.
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