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Six signs of nursing home neglect

If you have recently placed your parent or other loved one into a nursing home, you may be in a state of hyper-vigilance, believing that any change in your loved one's health, mood or appearance is indicative of nursing home abuse or neglect. In many situations, that will not be the case. However, when you have entrusted the care of your loved one to someone else, it is certainly not a bad thing to be on the constant lookout for any signs that the people in charge of your loved one's care are not properly fulfilling their duties.In general, there are six signs that your loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse. Any of these issues is grounds for a conversation with the nursing home administrator.Those six signs are:

Poor hygiene, which is a failure to brush teeth, shower or bathe, comb hair or wear clean clothes on a regular basis.

Malnutrition, which may be the result of a failure to meet your loved one's specific dietary needs.

Dehydration, which indicates that your loved one is not being given enough fluids.

Incontinence, which can be a sign that the nursing staff is not paying significant attention to your resident's bathroom needs.

Contracture, which is a restriction in your loved one's range of motion that could be caused by insufficient moving or walking under the supervision of the staff.

A sudden and unexplained loss of independence.

Certainly, these issues do not automatically indicate that your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect. But they do justify a second look.

Source:, "Your Legal Corner: Maximizing nursing home safety," Victoria M. Dalton, Esq., Oct. 7, 2012

The attorneys at our Aurora law firm represent clients and their families in cases of nursing home neglect and abuse. To learn more about what we do, see our practice area page.

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