If you are planning to help your elderly parent move into a nursing home, you have no doubt been experiencing mixed emotions. On one hand, it might bring relief to know that your loved one will no longer be alone all day, especially when you are unable to stop by to check on his or her well-being. On the other hand, however, you might have concerns about safety and quality of care in West Virginia nursing homes. Sadly, nursing home neglect is problematic in some facilities.
When you visit a facility to consider whether it’s a good fit for your loved one, you no doubt notice the obvious, such as whether the rooms are clean and well-kept or whether the facility reeks with bad odors. Beyond that, however, it can be challenging to assess quality of care, which is why it is always best to continue to be observant and to investigate any red flag issues that may arise.
Malnutrition and dehydration suggest nursing home neglect
While laws governing nursing homes vary by state, there are several standards of care generally expected in every facility, regardless of jurisdiction. For example, whether your parent resides in a West Virginia nursing home or one in another state, he or she can expect caregivers to provide an adequate diet and sufficient amount of water to drink.
If your loved one has lost weight since moving into a nursing home or exhibits symptoms of dehydration or malnutrition, consider a red flag alert for possible nursing home neglect. Elderly people sometimes have other health issues that can cause weight loss, and some patients are picky eaters or develop a habit of not wanting to eat. Still, it is best to never disregard a concern on your part that your loved one might be suffering from malnutrition or dehydration and that these conditions may be a result of neglect.
Nursing home neglect often includes lack of medical care
When your loved one moves into a nursing home, he or she must rely on caregivers to make sure that proper medical attention is obtained if a health problem arises or injury occurs. If a facility denies your mother or father medical care or caregivers do not follow through for a particular issue, in accordance with protocol and accepted safety standards, a minor issue can quickly become a life-threatening situation.
For instance, if your loved one develop bed sores and staff did not provide medical attention, the wounds may become infected, which can lead to even more serious health trouble.
Round-the-clock supervision means just that
If it states in your loved one’s medical records and care instructions that he or she is not to be left unattended, then there should never be an occurrence when you stop by to visit and find him or her alone in a hallway or outdoors, or otherwise unsupervised. Serious injuries have occurred when unsupervised patients fell out of their wheelchairs or tried to get up and walk and fell down.
You deserve an explanation if your parent’s instructions call for round-the-clock supervision and you find that caregivers have left him or her alone. This is a common sign of nursing neglect.
Keeping your loved one safe
Accidents happen, and there are no guarantees that your loved one will never become ill or suffer injury in a West Virginia nursing home. However, if you suspect that such conditions are a result of nursing home neglect, it is always best to further investigate. In fact, it might save your family member’s life. If there is evidence of neglect, your loved one might have grounds for seeking restitution through the civil justice system.