If your loved one is in a West Virginia nursing home, it is likely because he or she is no longer able to safely live alone or care for himself or herself. It is never an easy decision to place a loved one in this kind of facility, but when you do, it is with the assumption that he or she will get help, support and quality care. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
No matter how much research you put into your decision or how confident you feel about the quality of the facility you chose, it can still be helpful to know the signs of nursing home neglect. When a patient does not get the right amount of care he or she needs, it can have devastating physical, mental and emotional consequences. If you notice something is wrong, you can speak up and take action on behalf of your family member.
Indications of possible neglect
There are many warning signs that may indicate your loved one could be in harm's way. Nursing home abuse involves intentional harm, often physical, but neglect is often harder to detect. Neglect often happens in overcrowded or understaffed facilities, or nursing homes that do not hire people with the right training. Indications that your loved one could be suffering include the following:
- Your loved one is showing signs of poor hygiene, such as lack of help using the bathroom, bathing or changing after accidents.
- Your loved one acts confused, perhaps as a result of overmedication, lack of nutrition or unnoticed health complications.
- Your loved one is no longer mobile or able to do basic things he or she was able to do before coming to the nursing home.
- Your loved one shows signs of malnutrition or dehydration, such as losing weight or overall weakness.
If you think something is wrong, you have the right to speak up and act on behalf of your loved one. Your family has the right to hold liable parties accountable and seek appropriate compensation for any harm caused.
Where should you start?
It can be hard to know what to do if your loved one is experiencing difficulties as a result of neglect in his or her nursing home. You may feel angry and unsure of what to do next, but you do not have to walk through it alone. You may want to discuss your concerns with an experienced personal injury attorney and learn more about a civil claim on behalf of your family member.