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Preventing Neglect in Nursing Homes

If you have to move an elderly relative into a nursing home, the decision is often an agonizing one. Most elderly people would prefer to stay in their homes, and don’t want to admit they can no longer manage at home. Then once they are in the nursing home, relatives often worry about the level of care their loved one is receiving.

Most nursing homes offer quality care by staff who work hard at a difficult job. But sometimes the care isn’t at the level it should be or, even worse, is so bad that it’s considered abuse or neglect.

There are four types of neglect that most often occur:

Basic Needs: Lack of adequate food and water and an unsafe or dirty environment.

Personal Hygiene: Lack of help with hygiene tasks such as bathing and brushing teeth.

Emotional: Continually ignoring seniors or leaving them alone.

Medical: Lack of adequate care for medical conditions, or leaving them untreated for too long.

 

Here are some signs of neglect to watch for:

Medical issues such as dehydration or malnutrition, weight loss, injuries from falls or unexplained injuries, or bed sores.

Behavioural changes such as being withdrawn, not seeming like “herself,” or changes in hygiene and appearance.

Social changes such as a lack of friendly interaction with staff and other residents.

Environmental hazards, such as poor lighting, slippery floors and unsafe furniture and mobility equipment.

By being aware of these signs of neglect, you can help ensure that your loved one gets the care she requires, and you get the peace of mind you deserve.