The pandemic has kept many visitors away from nursing homes. So this December will be the first time many Alabamians have seen their loved ones.
Here is my strong advice: check for signs of nursing home abuse when you go.
It has been my experience that most nursing home workers genuinely care about their patients. But not all of them. Don’t let your excitement of seeing your elderly relatives or friends prevent you from looking for the signs that something might not be right.
I suggest you look for these 5 signs:
Some bruising in older people can be normal — the result of bumping into a bed frame or the arms of a wheelchair. However, facial and body bruising can also be signs of neglect. I especially suggest that you look seriously at the wrists and ankles for welts, which can signify restraints.
Severe Weight Loss and Dehydration
Patients need to eat well and drink plenty of liquids to maintain their health. Nursing homes must maintain a list of the patient’s weight and work to preserve that — even if the patient does not want to eat much. Also, you should see that water is readily available.
Falls are not part of getting older. Nursing homes should have a protocol to prevent these unnecessary accidents.
If you see strange behavior, do not assume that it is just a sign of getting older. Incoherence and excessive sleeping could be signs of medication problems.
Look for bedsores, body odor, even dirty clothing. Understaffing is often the reason for this form of substandard care.
If you see concerns, act. I suggest you first go to the nursing home officials, and if you cannot get satisfaction, then go to an attorney.
If you suffer a personal injury like an auto/truck accident, railroad accident, slip, and fall or nursing home abuse, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We are taking a fall break and will offer 5-minute segments for the rest of the year and a live call-in segment every Monday on NBC 15 at around lunchtime.
Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer