The decision to place a relative in a nursing home is challenging. This action often coincides with a tangle of emotions. You are relieved that your loved one is set up to receive the kind of care they need but also sad for the loss of their familiar situations and home. Of all the considerations in transitioning a person to a nursing home, few people think to learn about the signs of neglect.
Protecting a person’s health remotely
For most situations, you have to take the nursing home staff’s word when it comes to a person’s health and well-being. Since their admission into a facility, you may not be near your relative very often. When you see them, you might not notice the slow changes that can occur after days, weeks or months of neglect. It is essential to understand what physical changes or subtle signs so that when you visit a person, you can recognize the physical degradation that comes with neglect:
Superficial injuries: It can be challenging to evaluate how someone received a bruise, cut or other injuries, especially when that person is dealing with the degeneration that comes with dementia. There may be physical injuries that directly result from rough handling or violence, but the more common injuries may simply be from a lack of supervision. A person may not remember that they have weakness or balance issues. They may forget their walker or attempt to use a bathroom with a slippery floor on their own. If there isn’t enough staff to watch over your loved one, an injury could result.
Poor hygiene: Small details like an unshaven face, dirty fingernails, and unkempt hair may be a sign of early neglect. Look at a person’s clothes to see if they’ve been laundered recently or have noticeable stains.
Sudden weight loss: Even if the food was placed in front of a person with dementia, that person might not have the presence of mind to eat. Many of those people admitted to nursing homes require careful supervision around feeding. This feeding routine is even more important to keep patients from choking and make sure they eat enough.
Seeing to a loved one’s needs
Since you can’t be with your loved one all the time, you must keep alert to the signs of elder neglect. Don’t careless or negligent staff impacts your relative’s health.