Selecting a nursing home for your loved one who can no longer live by themselves is a very hard task. Having already dealt with the emotionally draining part of making the decision, trying to find the right place can seem downright impossible. As Kentucky nursing home attorneys, we have witnessed the results of nursing home neglect and abuse. In previous articles, we have covered signs of abuse to look for when visiting residents and questions to ask before placing someone in a home or assisted living facility, but they bear repeating. We have also added a couple new issues to consider.
One of the most common signs of nursing home neglect is bedsores. Patients who are less mobile and do not receive the proper care can get bedsores, especially where their bodies are in almost constant contact with their beds. Bedsores can be avoided if the nursing home staff helps the resident move periodically to relieve these pressure points. Another obvious sign of neglect is malnourishment or dehydration. If you visit your loved one fairly frequently, you will be able to see a physical change if they are not getting enough to eat or drink.
Cuts or bruises may show neglect or abuse in nursing home residents as well. If residents aren’t checked often enough, they may try to get up to reach something or use the restroom unassisted, and they will fall and injure themselves. Sometimes proper precautions aren’t used when trying to move a resident, resulting in a fall from a bed or wheelchair. As awful as it sounds, sometimes residents are physically abused by the nursing home staff. If your loved one makes any type of accusation against one of the staff members, do not take it lightly. Make sure to have the complaint thoroughly investigated.
Incorrect medication dosing can also occur in a nursing home. The incorrect amount, or even the wrong drug altogether, could be given, causing complications or perhaps even death. As a recent case illustrates, these medication errors do not always involve pills. The estate of a deceased resident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against an Illinois nursing home because a narcotic patch was put on her without a previous patch administered at the hospital being removed. The suit alleges that the extra dosage led to her death. When considering a nursing home, ask about their medication policies and what steps are put in place to make sure the residents are receiving the correct medication in the proper dosage.