Nine Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence. We trust nursing homes to take care of our loved ones when they are at their most vulnerable. When nursing homes and their staff break your trust and break the rules, you need the experienced and dedicated Missouri and Illinois nursing home negligence lawyers of Burger Law to hold them accountable. We will fight for justice and the dignity of your loved one, and will not rest until you are fully compensated. Call us today at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. When you hire Burger Law, we start working on your case right away and do not charge any fees until we win your case.
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act guaranteed a standard of care for nursing homes and a Bill of Rights for nursing home residents. While certain cases of neglect, like the presence of bedsores or the use of restraints, have diminished since the Act was put into law, Missouri and Illinois nursing homes and their staff still sometimes break the rules and commit nursing home negligence or abuse. If you have a family member or loved one in a nursing home, you want to feel like they are in trustworthy hands. While Medicare has a nursing home checklist to help you choose the best nursing home for your loved one, you may still want to be vigilant in ensuring they are getting the care they deserve.
9 Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence
It can often be difficult to know if your loved one is being mistreated, especially if they have cognitive issues like dementia or alzheimer's disease or their physical health is failing rapidly. However, there are nine warning signs you can look for to know when to your loved one is suffering from nursing home negligence:
- Poor Personal Hygiene
Nursing homes are required to wash their residents once daily if they can not do so themselves. If it does not appear that your loved one has bathed in days, this is a sign that the nursing home and their staff are not taking their responsibilities seriously.
- Unclean Living Conditions
This is worrying on multiple fronts. Firstly, the elderly are especially vulnerable to disease and viral infections. Common areas and bedrooms need to be cleaned daily to keep them safe. Secondly, if the staff are neglecting their cleaning duties, they are likely committing nursing home negligence in other parts of their job as well.
- Unexplained Injuries
Injuries are not always a sign of abuse or neglect, as our bodies become weaker with age. Studies show that about half of nursing residents fall each year. But injuries that neither your loved one nor the staff can explain are a troubling sign of nursing home negligence or abuse.
- Changes in Behavior
While cognitive decline happens to most of us as we age, it is usually gradual. Sudden changes in personality could be an indication of nursing home negligence. If your typically outgoing loved one all of sudden barely talks, or your usually introverted family member will not stop jabbering, it could be an indication that they are afraid and under emotional duress.
- Financial Issues
Nursing home abuse is not always physical. If your loved one cannot explain where their money is going, abruptly changes their will, has opened a new, phony account or is constantly buying gifts for someone who is not a family member, it could be a sign that someone is manipulating them and their finances.
Bedsores are almost always signs of nursing home negligence. Immobile patients must be moved frequently, and they must receive proper nutrition and hydration to impede the development of bedsores.
- Greater Confusion, Insomnia, or Sleeping Too Much
These can be signs that they are receiving too much of their medication, or that their medication is otherwise not being properly administered. Missouri and Illinois nursing homes are required to only provide the correct dosage of a medication and too monitor any side effects. Failure to do so is a sign of nursing home negligence.
- Your Loved One Has Become Immobile
Nursing homes should provide walking programs and regular light exercise programs to help keep residents mobile and in good physical conditions. Suddenly not being able to get out of bed could mean that their nursing home is not providing the necessary programs.
- Malnutrition or Dehydration
Adequate water and nutrition is part of Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights. If they are not receiving proper nutrition, they might experience sudden weight loss, cracked lips, dry mouth, a swollen tongue or extreme weakness.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Loved One is Experiencing Nursing Home Negligence
The first thing you need to do is get them proper and immediate medical attention. Then, you should contact the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services to file a report. In Illinois, you should call the Adult Protective Services Hotline at 1-866-800-1409.
After that, you need to call the Missouri and Illinois nursing home negligence attorneys at Burger Law. We have spent decades standing up to bullies like neglectful nursing homes and will demand that you and your loved one are fully compensated for all your expenses and pain and suffering. You and your loved one deserve justice and we will not stop fighting until you get it. Call us today at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online.