Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Choosing to place a loved one in a nursing home is always a difficult decision. The individual being placed into care must adjust to a new living environment and less independence, while the family is shouldered with ensuring that the nursing home that they select will be a safe and therapeutic environment for their loved one. Whether you are contemplating putting your loved one in a long-term care facility or your loved one is already in a nursing home, we recommend the following tips to make sure that your loved one does not fall victim to abuse and neglect.
Do Your Homework:
If you are in the process of looking for a nursing home, be sure to check out multiple facilities. Go armed with a list of questions, including:
• What is your resident-to-staff ratio?
• How much time do nurses and aides spend with residents on a daily basis?
• What is your staff turnover rate?
• What is your policy regarding the use of physical and chemical restraints?
• What activities do you offer the residents?
• What type of food do you serve?
When possible, talk to some of the residents to find out if they are happy and if they feel that they get adequate assistance when needed. Before making your final selection, try to visit the facility unannounced to see how the staff handles the busiest times of the day, such as early mornings and meal times. You can also check the Illinois Department of Public Health website to view the facility’s latest inspection report and to see if it has been cited for any violations of the Nursing Home Care Act.
Visits are good for your loved one’s emotional and mental well-being and give you the opportunity to view the condition of the facility and your loved one first hand. Abusers are also more likely to target residents who are unlikely or unable to speak up for themselves and who do not have someone to advocate on their behalf. During your visits, keep your eyes open for potential issues, such as insufficient lighting, mobility equipment that is in poor condition, and general uncleanliness.
Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect:
Since your loved one may be reluctant or unable to speak up, it is up to you to be alert to possible indicators of abuse or neglect.
• Changes in Personal Hygiene
Most nursing home residents require assistance with activities of daily living, such as showering, dressing, and combing their hair. When facilities are understaffed, these tasks are often overlooked.
• Sudden Loss of Weight
Malnutrition and dehydration can occur when there is inadequate staff to assist during meals, medical problems affecting the desire or ability to eat are not treated, or the meals served are not adequate in terms of the amount or nutritional content. When visiting your loved one during meal times, offer to pay for the same meal that your loved one is eating so that you can assess the quality for yourself.
• Unexplained Injuries
Frequent bruises, bedsores, and broken bones are one of the most significant indicators of abuse or neglect. The injuries typically occur when the facility does not follow appropriate safety protocols or when residents do not get the assistance that they need in a timely manner and attempt to do things on their own.
• Changes in Mood or Behavior
Nursing home staff and even family members are often too quick to dismiss these changes as signs of dementia. If you notice that your loved one seems withdrawn, depressed, or angry, you should have them evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible to rule out abuse and neglect along with medical issues.
If you or a loved one has been injured while in a nursing home, contact Zayed Law Offices to discuss your legal options.