When should you hire a nursing home lawyer?

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As a family member of an elderly loved one who lives in a nursing home, you, like most others, think that these nursing homes are trained to care for your loved one. It’s not common for elderly people to want to go into a nursing home and it’s often the last choice for family members, but especially for those who require a high level of medical attention, nursing homes are often the only options. If you are entrusting your loved one to someone else’s care, it’s a decision that isn’t taken lightly, unfortunately, not all nursing homes provide the care that they are expected to provide.

Some elderly people experience a wide range of abuse at the hands of caregivers while living in a nursing home. If you suspect your elderly loved one is experiencing abuse in their nursing home, it’s time to get nursing home attorney Roger Weinberg involved. Here are some signs to look for to alert you of possible abuse of your elderly loved one.  

Neglect of Proper Hygiene  

Basic needs, especially with regards to hygiene, are essential for the elderly. Nursing homes have a duty to provide each resident with proper care, which includes assisting them with properly maintaining their hygiene. It is the responsibility of the caregivers to ensure those they are caring for are bathed, changed, and have the proper personal hygiene. If you visit your elderly loved one at a nursing home and notice that they are wearing the same clothes as they were wearing the last time you visited, they have an odor on their body and/or clothing or they have not bathed in a week, you should contact a nursing home lawyer as soon as possible to discuss possible neglect.  

Emotional and Psychological Abuse 

Being withdrawn and showing symptoms of mild depression may be the result of a number of different things, such as being homesick, missing their loved ones, or simply not feeling well. However, if your elderly loved one has suddenly become withdrawn and has begun to socially isolate themselves from other residents or avoids talking to you about their daily activities; it may the result of emotional and psychological abuse. This type of abuse means the elderly person is experiencing emotional pain or stress resulting from being insulted, threatened, humiliated, or harassed through actions or words. The caregiver may also be ignoring your loved one or isolating them from family members, other residents, or daily activities. If emotional abuse goes unnoticed and untreated, it may lead to serious health and emotional problems. Although emotional abuse is sometimes difficult to identify right away, it is critical that you contact a nursing home lawyer as soon as you suspect your elderly loved one is experiencing psychological abuse. 

Malnourished and Dehydrated 

Losing weight is completely normal during aging; however, if you notice your elderly loved one has suddenly lost a lot of weight since moving to the nursing home, it is something you should be concerned about, especially if the excessive weight loss is not a symptom of a known illness. Sudden and excessive weight loss may lead to malnourishment as well as a number of other illnesses. It is the responsibility of the nursing home and their caregivers to provide residents with foods and beverages that have the nutrients their body requires. It is also essential that your loved one have continuous access to clean water and the caregivers should be encouraging hydration. If the nursing home is unable or purposely not feeding and providing proper hydration, it is neglect and you should definitely contact a nursing home lawyer to discuss your concerns.  

Hazardous and Unsanitary Living Conditions 

Due to their age, elderly people are generally immunocompromised, which means cleanliness is critical. It is important that their living environment be clean and sanitary to reduce the risk of them getting sick. A properly maintained nursing home should be safe and hazard-free. It is the duty of the nursing home to make arrangements for their residents based on their medical history, which includes fall prevention. Unfortunately, it is common for nursing home employees to be improperly trained when it comes to preventing falls and other accidents. Another cause for preventable falls is the lack of sufficient staff for the number of residents. Nursing homes can be held liable if your love done has been injured due to their failure in maintaining proper safety protocols for cleanliness and sanitation and for negligence in supervising the residents who have balance issues and have a high risk for falls. 

Injuries and Abuse 

Allegations of injury and abuse should not be taken lightly. If you notice any type of injury or you suspect your loved one is being abused in any way, it is critical that you take action immediately. It is common for elderly people to avoid talking about things that may be happening to them, especially if they are being threatened about telling. Injuries and abuse may be the result of physical abuse, including sexual abuse, infections, financial exploitation, and excessive medication, neglecting to provide necessary medications and medical care, and emotional abuse. 

A nursing home is a place for you to trust that your elderly loved ones are being well cared for and safe. If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing abuse, neglect, or any type of improper care, it is important that you contact a nursing home lawyer immediately to help protect your loved one’s rights to live in a safe and clean environment. 

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