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Nursing home abuse: Issues that are definitely cause for concern

Have you recently helped your aging parent transition to a fully assisted living facility? There are many good nursing homes in West Virginia. Like most other adult children in similar situations, you no doubt did as much research as you could before choosing a specific residence for your loved one. Nursing home care providers can help patients enjoy as high quality a life as possible, given their individual limitations and conditions. Sadly, however, not all workers are faithful to their duties. Nursing home abuse shouldn't but does occur.

In a perfect world, you'd be able to be with your loved one every day, making sure to meet all of his or her needs. In reality, you have other life commitments and obligations, so the time you can spend visiting the nursing home where your mother or father lives may be a lot less than you'd prefer. This is why it's critical that you know how to recognize signs of negligence or abuse.

Bed sores are not par for the course

The licensed workers who care for your loved one understand that mobility is a key factor toward avoiding abrasion injuries. If your loved one is partially or completely immobile, his or her records no doubt include details helping him or her turn over in bed and move about as much as possible with assistance.

If you notice bed sores on your loved one's body, it definitely warrants inquiry. If you're not satisfied with the answers you receive, it also warrants further investigation. Bed sores can become infectious and can turn into life-threatening situations if left untreated.

Personal appearance and demeanor can be telling

If you think your loved one has gotten a bit grumpier as he or she ages, it is not uncommon among the elderly. As you enter your 50s, 60s or beyond, you might even notice yourself becoming a bit more short-tempered than usual. However, any drastic change in your parent's personality, such as if he or she shows great agitation when a certain worker is nearby, suggests something might be askew regarding his or her care.

Arthritis and numerous other mental or physical health conditions can make personal hygiene tasks a great challenge. While it might not be alarming if the buttoning on your loved one's shirt is wrong, or his or her hair isn't the usual style, it might be concerning if he or she appears disheveled. It's also a definite red flag if clothing or bed sheets have urine or feces stains on them, or if your loved one has not had the opportunity to bathe.

Physical injuries prompt immediate need for explanation

Any type of visible bodily injury, such as bruises, lacerations, inflammation or swelling, is reason enough for you to request an immediate meeting with a nursing home administrator. Other symptoms, such as sudden onset of confusion, dizziness, speech impediment, etc., may be signs of internal injuries as well.

Did a worker fail to supervise your loved one?

If your loved one's records stipulate that he or she needs supervision at all times, care providers have an obligation to fulfill those needs. Showing up unannounced to visit your loved one, and finding him or her alone in a hallway or outdoors, is certainly cause for alarm.

Trust your instincts and listen closely

Keeping your loved one safe in a nursing home is easier if you stay closely connected to him or her. If you can't always be there in person, it's important to still talk on the phone if possible. Ask questions that help you determine if staff are providing him or her with high-quality care.

If something doesn't feel right to you, don't hesitate to ask about it. Being proactive might help your loved one avoid nursing home abuse. There is absolutely no excuse for substandard care in a nursing home. If you suspect this has happened in your loved one's case, you can reach out for immediate guidance and support to seek justice.

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