According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 1.7 million licensed nursing home beds in the U.S. as of 2016. The people occupying these beds expect the care provided to them to be the highest quality possible, to prevent injuries, disease, and other significant threats.
If you currently have a loved one in a nursing home, you also share in this sentiment. Unfortunately, not all nursing facilities take their responsibilities seriously, which can lead to bad outcomes for the residents. Here are a few red flags to look for so you can address nursing home abuse or neglect in the proper manner.
Staff are unhelpful with everyday tasks
Many older people have problems with mobility, which can limit their ability to perform common tasks. Nursing home staff must step in to help with meal preparation, cleaning, personal grooming, and many other chores. If staff are unhelpful or reluctant to do their part, residents face a serious risk. For example, if staff does not change clothing and bedding for bedridden patients regularly, they face a heightened risk of developing bedsores.
There are foul odors everywhere
Strong smells are not uncommon in medical facilities, including nursing homes. However, if you notice persistent unpleasant odors throughout the facility, it is likely that the staff are not performing their duties correctly. Especially concerning is a strong smell of bodily waste within patient rooms and elsewhere. Not only does this greatly decrease the resident’s quality of life, it can also cause serious illnesses if workers at the home do not properly address the issue.
Residents appear depressed
In addition to meeting residents’ physical needs, nursing homes must also offer mental stimulation. Activities encourage socialization and also provide residents fun things to do in their spare time. Residents may become depressed when the proper mental stimulation is not available, as they may feel isolated and alone. Residents may also become depressed because of mistreatment by the staff, including insults and harsh criticisms.