Navigating nursing home care can be challenging, especially when it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of our elderly loved ones. Unfortunately, nursing homes, which should be safe havens, can sometimes become places where abuse occurs.
Recognizing when nursing home abuse occurs is crucial for the protection of seniors. Consider these three common examples that could signify that residents are being subjected to abuse.
1: Broken bones
Broken bones in a nursing home setting can be a red flag for abuse or neglect. While it’s true that seniors are more prone to fractures due to conditions like osteoporosis, broken bones can also result from mishandling, physical abuse or neglect. Additionally, any signs of restraint, such as bruises on the wrists or ankles, combined with a broken bone, could indicate physical abuse.
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are skin and underlying tissue injuries that are a common sign of neglect in a nursing home. Bedsores typically develop on skin that covers bony areas such as heels, ankles, hips and the tailbone.
They occur in residents who are not moved frequently enough, particularly those who are bedridden or use a wheelchair. The presence of bedsores suggests that the staff isn’t providing adequate care in repositioning residents to prevent these painful and potentially dangerous sores.
3: Frequent falls
Frequent falls can be an indicator of neglect in a nursing home environment. Falls can be common among older adults due to balance issues or medication side effects, but a pattern of frequent falls might suggest a lack of proper supervision or assistance.
It is the responsibility of the nursing home to implement fall prevention measures. These include bed alarms, adequate lighting and proper staffing to assist residents at risk of falling.
Anyone who sees signs of nursing home abuse should take steps to address the situation. This can include filing complaints or taking legal action. They should work with someone who has the knowledge and experience that makes it easier to navigate the situation. Specific laws and time limits apply to these situations, so wasting time isn’t a good idea.