When an elder loved one requires constant care, the time comes to place faith in the hands of a nursing home.
Unfortunately, research by the World Health Organization indicates that 1 in 6 people over 60 experience some form of abuse. While physical and emotional abuse may come to mind, neglect also ranks high.
Types of neglect
Staffing shortages, improper training and negligent hiring all factor into the potential for neglect. That neglect comes in many forms often overlooked and unreported. One of the most serious issues involves giving a patient improper medication, which may have life-threatening consequences. Other forms of neglect that may cause medical conditions include dehydration, malnutrition and personal hygiene. Along with bodily neglect, elder patients may succumb to emotional neglect. Those situations include ignoring complaints, failing to report illnesses or being left unattended for a lengthy period.
Signs to look for
Too often, neglect goes unreported. People with loved ones in a facility need to pay attention to key signs of trouble. These include:
- Unsanitary conditions, such as spoiled bedding and messy living areas
- Loss of mobility from inactivity
- Disheveled or dirty appearance
- Development of depression, anxiety, irritability or anger
- Unexplained and unexpected injuries
- Physical changes, such as hair loss and papery skin
If any of these signs appear, report it to authorities. In all likelihood, these conditions affect other patients.
Elderly people have rights. Even if they need help taking care of themselves, they deserve to live in clean conditions and receive care and respect.