The Most Common Nursing Home Red Flags

Elderly lady sitting in wheelchair looking at window

As our loved ones age, it can become difficult to provide the care they need, especially while caring for your own family as well. Making the decision to enlist the help of a nursing home is never easy, but you go to great lengths to ensure you choose the very best. When you entrust your loved one to a nursing facility, you rightly expect your loved ones are receiving proper care. Unfortunately, in many care facilities, that is not the case. Abuse or neglect are becoming more commonplace in nursing homes due to poor staffing and funding, yet spotting the signs is not always easy. There are a few red flags to look for when you suspect your loved ones are being subjected to abuse.

Red Flag #1: Emotional or Physical Harm

When you visit your loved ones, take some time to examine how they are acting. Watch to determine if there are any signs that could point to distress. This may take the form of lack of interest in hobbies or becoming withdrawn. When a loved one experiences emotional abuse, it is also often displayed through changes in mood or appetite. Physical harm can be easier to identify. When visiting a loved one, check for any unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches, or other forms of physical harm. If you find any of these physical signs, tread carefully as it is not definitive proof of neglect or abuse. However, it can be a steppingstone in bringing corrective action against the abusers if abuse truly is in play.

Red Flag #2: Malnourishment

Malnourishment is an often overlooked, but important red flag that something is amiss. This could indicate the elder care facility does not have the correct number of staff to ensure proper nutrition. When this happens, your loved ones are not getting enough fluids to stay hydrated or could be missing meals completely. If a loved one cannot physically express their needs, alongside poor staffing, they could be in danger of malnutrition. Ensuring that the staff of the facility is well trained and equipped to oversee your loved one is top priority.

Red Flag #3: Avoiding Certain Staff

Usually, if a loved one expresses they do not want a specific staff member to care for them, there is a good reason. The staff member in question could be rude, abusive, or harmful. But no matter the reason, this claim should be taken seriously and should be investigated. Having a loved one feeling uncomfortable or fearful is not an ideal situation for anyone. See if you can understand why your loved one is avoiding one staff member. If the reason is less insidious than abusive behavior, collaborate with the care facility to devise a solution that makes your loved one comfortable.

Other Nursing Home Red Flags to Watch For

Signs of red flags in a nursing home may not always be so obvious as a bruise or malnutrition. According to the U.S. News and World Report, other warning signs include:

  • Avoiding questions all together
  • Underqualified staff
  • High turnover rates
  • Unanswered phone calls

 Choosing an elder care facility is a stressful feat. We want our loved ones to receive the best care possible, even if we cannot provide it ourselves. Conducting research on these facilities will help offer you and your loved one peace of mind that their new home is safe, clean, and capable. Moreover, talking to residents that are already in the facility can provide helpful insight about the quality of life.

McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP Cares for Our Most Vulnerable Nationwide

MWA believes our elders are not disposable; their pain matters. Our Nursing Home and Elder Abuse attorneys have decades of experience representing those whose loved ones have been harmed by inadequate care facilities across the country. We are fully committed to seeking justice for the injured while holding the bad actors accountable for their actions.

If your loved one has experienced any form of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact us today by calling (909) 345-8110 to schedule a free consultation!

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