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Signs that could point to nursing home abuse, neglect

If you have a loved one in a nursing home facility, you likely expect that the facility will provide the care they promise and treat your loved one with the dignity he or she deserves.

Tragically, this doesn’t always happen. Patients and residents in too many nursing homes across Ohio fall victim to neglect and abuse. And between cognitive decline and emotional vulnerability, many of these victims cannot or do not report misconduct. As such, it can be up to friends, family members and others to watch for signs of abuse or neglect in a nursing home.

Signs to look for in a patient

Keep an eye out for signs in your loved one that could signal he or she is not being cared for properly. Look for:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Bed sores
  • Unexplained cuts or bruises
  • Significant declines in emotional or physical well-being
  • Marked anxiety or fear around certain staff members
  • Unusual difficulties with or refusal to communicate

Signs to look for in a facility

You might also see signs in the facility and staff members that could indicate your loved one is not receiving proper care. Look for:

  • High rates of staff turnover
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Significant disorganization throughout the facility
  • Low staff levels
  • Staff inability or unwillingness to answer questions about your loved one
  • Staff members yelling at, making fun of or ignoring patients

What to do if you suspect misconduct

To get a sense of how the facility operates, stop by at random times to visit. Make an effort to talk to doctors, nurses and other staff members whenever you are there, and discuss any potentially troubling issues you might have as soon as they arise.

If you have reason to believe your loved one is being abused or neglected in the facility, especially in light of an illness, injury or fatality, you can discuss the situation with an attorney. A legal representative familiar with medical malpractice and nursing home neglect claims can help you build a case in an effort to hold a negligent party accountable for any damages suffered because of mistreatment.