According to the CDC, there are roughly 1.4 million people living in nursing homes in the United States. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you know that choosing the right nursing home for your loved one is a decision fraught with emotion and worry. You want to ensure the place you select provides the highest level of care and is a safe and nurturing environment. But how do you know if the nursing home is meeting these standards?
Being observant and understanding the signs that your loved one might not be receiving the best care is important to their overall health and well-being.
Rapid changes in weight or appearance
Noticeable changes in your loved one’s weight or appearance might suggest that the staff in the nursing home is not meeting their basic needs. Weight loss might indicate inadequate nutrition or potential neglect, while poor hygiene could suggest staff are not adequately helping with bathing or personal care.
Unexplained injuries or medical conditions
Injuries, such as bruises, cuts or bed sores or sudden medical conditions without reasonable explanations are major red flags and could indicate potential neglect or abuse. Always question the nursing home staff about such incidents and monitor any recurring patterns.
Emotional changes in your loved one
Changes in mood or behavior can also serve as key indicators. If your loved one seems depressed, anxious or unusually quiet, these could be signs of neglect or even abuse. Pay close attention to how your loved one interacts with the nursing home staff, as that can be a key indicator of whether or not the staff is treating your loved one inappropriately.
Consider the ratio of staff to residents in the nursing home. If there are too few staff, they might struggle to provide the necessary care and attention to all residents. Staff who seem overworked, stressed or indifferent may not provide the level of care your loved one deserves.
Lack of communication
A good nursing home will communicate regularly with families about a resident’s health, changes in behavior and any incidents or concerns. If you find it hard to get information or if staff are evasive or unresponsive, it is a warning sign.
You should never ignore these potential signs of abuse and neglect. Always advocate for your loved one’s well-being, comfort and safety. It is important to ensure they receive the quality of care they deserve.