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Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home abuse, or elder abuse, occurs when someone intentionally harms an elderly patient.  Nursing home neglect occurs when someone intentionally withholds care or refuses to provide basic necessities.  Nursing home neglect can take many sinister forms, from personal hygiene neglect to medical neglect to emotional neglect. And just as there are many forms of neglect in nursing homes, there many different indicators it is occurring. The best way to determine if your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect is to become aware of its signs and symptoms.

Identifying Nursing Home Neglect

In order to recognize the signs and symptoms of nursing home neglect, it is important to know the different types of neglect taking place in nursing homes. Victims of personal hygiene neglect may not receive the help they need with general cleanliness. Basic needs neglect occurs when a nursing home resident is not provided with adequate food and/or water. If a resident doesn’t receive appropriate treatment for a new or existing condition, it is considered medical neglect. Emotional neglect occurs when a resident is left alone or subjected to unfriendly or dismissive interactions with caregivers or other residents.

Nursing home neglect can result in both physical and mental injuries. Some are obvious, but most are subtle. Specific signs and symptoms of nursing home neglect include:

  • Malnourishment, malnutrition, and dehydration
  • Over- or under-medication
  • Injuries from falls
  • Infections
  • Bed sores/Pressure sores
  • Untreated cuts
  • Decayed teeth or lack of dentures/false teeth
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal from people and activities
  • Generally unsanitary conditions
  • Environmental hazards, such as poor lighting, slippery floors, unsafe equipment, or unsafe furniture

The best way to identify nursing home neglect is through frequent unannounced visits to your loved one’s care facility. During these visits, pay close attention to your loved one’s physical and emotional condition, checking for any signs or symptoms of mistreatment. Take the time to talk to your loved one, listening for any indications of neglect.  Remember, elder neglect can occur anywhere where your elderly relative is living and being cared for by another.  This includes, not only nursing homes, but can also occur in their own home, in assisted living facilities, or community living facilities. 

Frequent visits to the nursing home will not only give you the opportunity to check on your loved one, but will also allow you to familiarize yourself with the staff and management at the facility. This information will be invaluable if you suspect neglect because you will already have knowledge of the people charged with your loved one’s care.

Contact KWFDM about Nursing Home Neglect

If you fear your loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect in an Atlanta area care facility, please contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC immediately. During your free initial consultation, we can discuss the signs and symptoms you have noticed, as well as your options for protecting your loved one. All discussions with our nursing home neglect attorneys are completely confidential. Protect your loved one today by calling (404) 460-0101.

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