I saw a commercial today for a law firm advising people to call if they or a family member suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home. It made me think back to when a friend of mine died a year and a half ago. She had breast cancer in most of her bones, but had a decent appetite up until nearly the end. She was not neglected. But I am thinking back to the thin, elderly lady in the adjoining bed. On the visits I made, I noticed on more than one occasion that the staff would set down a full plate of steak and vegetables next to the lady. She ignored it. The staff eventually removed the untouched plate. I felt a sense of outrage that they were not trying harder to nourish her. Or maybe that was a form of hospice "care", such as not re-hydrating a terminally ill patient with an IV once they are no longer able to imbibe water by mouth. I still think somebody should have sat down with the elderly lady and spoon-fed her something she could stomach. Call me old-fashioned.
Signs of abuse and neglect:
The first questions to ask when identifying nursing home abuse:
Does your loved one have injuries or show physical signs of neglect?
Are your loved one’s complaints insistent and frequent?
Are objections directed at a particular nursing home staff member?
Has your loved one displayed unusual behavior changes?
General Signs of Abuse
Staff refuses to allow visitors to see resident, or delays in allowing visitors to see resident
Staff does not allow visitors to be alone with resident
Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and resident
Unexplained new or frequent injuries such as bruises, burns, cuts or broken bones
Bloody or stained clothing
Complaints about painful blisters or abrasions
Weakness or inexplicable weight loss
Constant thirst or extremely dry skin
Hazardous or unsafe living conditions
Sudden personality changes
Uncharacteristic anger, lack of interest, or anxiety