A nursing home’s job is to monitor the residents in its care. That should put your mind at ease, but it may not because abuse and neglect are unfortunately common in many nursing homes across the country. You can help your loved one by paying attention to these signs that a patient is not being monitored in a nursing home and taking the necessary action.
The signs of inadequate supervision at a nursing home can relate to changes you might notice in your elderly family member or observations involving the nursing home facility and staff. We’ll discuss both to give you a better picture of the care (or lack thereof) that your loved one may be receiving.
Physical Signs that a Patient is Not Being Monitored at a Nursing Home
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (42 U.S. Code § 1395i–3) requires, amongst many things, that patients:
- Receive adequate care, treatment, and services
- Be free from abuse and neglect
- Receive reasonable and timely responses to their requests
These are known as Residents’ Rights, according to the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center.
A violation of these rights is illegal, and you should act immediately if you notice any of the signs listed below.
As surprising as it may sound, something as essential as water can easily go overlooked in a nursing home setting. If your elderly loved one complains of feeling dizzy or lightheaded, experiencing headaches, constant thirst, muscle cramps, or unusual inability to urinate, it may be a sign of dehydration.
Nursing home staff may forget to provide water to your family member consistently. In a worst-case scenario, they could be depriving residents of water intentionally to limit incontinence or bedwetting issues.
Surprising Weight Loss
Startling or unusual weight loss could also indicate neglect or lack of monitoring at a nursing home. Perhaps meals are not being provided promptly or the required amount of food to sustain a healthy weight is not being given. Sometimes, a patient may receive the necessary sustenance in a timely fashion, but they are not eating the food.
Either way, someone at the nursing home or other long-term care facility should check on the patient to ensure their needs are being met. Staff should develop an appropriate plan to adjust to the resident’s dietary habits and address weight loss. If they have not done this, there is a problem.
Cuts, Bruises, and Falls
If your elderly loved one frequently appears with physical ailments, such as cuts and bruises, or speaks of frequent falling, there is a high probability of either neglect or physical abuse.
Senior citizens are more prone to falling than younger people. This is precisely why nursing home residents require constant monitoring. Falls can be life-threatening and even fatal for many elderly people, resulting in fractured bones or traumatic brain injury.
Soiled Clothes and Dirty Living Spaces
Hygiene is a clear indication of the care a patient is receiving. Dirty and smelly clothes and hair can reveal neglect. Visiting their living space at the nursing home may confirm as much.
If you find soiled bedding, overflowing trash bins, a foul odor, items displaced all over the room, or unwiped messes, your loved one is not being sufficiently monitored.
Bedsores are another dead giveaway of deficient monitoring at a nursing home. If a patient is not being rolled, turned, or helped out of bed consistently, sores will develop on the side of the body they are lying on. Bedsores can lead to infections and other life-threatening complications.
Inadequate Staffing May Cause Poor Supervision at a Nursing Home Facility
Some signs that your loved one is not being monitored at a nursing home may have less to do with them and more to do with the facility. Understaffing is a serious problem in many long-term care facilities around the country. Many of the issues of proper supervision stem from inadequate staffing.
If the adult care facility does not have enough staff, residents will suffer. Any of the signs below are a likely indication that a patient is not receiving proper supervision at a nursing home:
- High employee turnover
- Ringing phones left unanswered
- Poor response time when attempting to contact someone who works there
- Extended periods without seeing a staff member
Lack of staff, improperly trained staff, or wrongly hired staff can all pose a great risk to the safety and health of seniors in long-term care facilities.
Brown & Barron Holds Nursing Homes Accountable for Their Negligence
You and your loved one should be confident that they are receiving the best care possible at their nursing home. If you notice any signs that they are not being monitored or indications of other abuse or neglect, call Brown & Barron for help.
We advocate for nursing home patients and their families. A nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at our firm in Baltimore may be able to help you recover financial compensation. Contact us for a free consultation today.