How to Tell If Your Loved One Is Safe in Their Nursing Home

When you’ve placed your trust in a nursing home to look after the health and well-being of your loved one, it’s normal to want to make sure that facility is providing adequate care.

So if you’re questioning the safety of a facility, you’re not alone. Most people who have a family member in a nursing home ask themselves whether that facility is treating their loved one with the respect and healthcare they deserve. However, if you notice certain red flags, it’s worth looking at the care the facility provides with greater scrutiny.

Here are a few options available to help you spot these potential red flags.

Ask Your Loved One Directly

In some cases, the best way to determine the safety of your loved one is to simply ask them directly. When you do, make sure that the conversation happens in-person and privately, so your loved one won’t be worried about anyone else at the facility listening in.

Obviously, asking a loved one directly has its limitations. For example, if your loved one has dementia or is incapacitated in other ways, then they might be unable to recognize the quality of the care they receive.

If your loved one is truly scared of staff or other residents, they might not feel comfortable admitting it out of fear of retribution. In these cases, you might need to look further into the situation to determine the safety of the nursing home.

Gauge Your Loved One’s Demeanor

When someone is abused or neglected, their personality, mood, and overall demeanor can change drastically. If your loved one was previously outgoing, optimistic, and conversational, but they’re currently sullen and withdrawn, it’s possible that mistreatment is contributing to their change in demeanor.

Look for Other Signs of Abuse and Neglect

Aside from fundamental changes in personality and mood, you can also look for physical signs of abuse and neglect. That includes:

  • Unexplained bruises or welts
  • Cuts
  • Fractures
  • Overmedication
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor dental health
  • Unhygienic appearance

If your loved one shows any of these red flags and staff members can offer no proper explanation or context, then it’s likely your loved one is being neglected, abused, or mistreated. 

Look for the Overall Conditions of the Nursing Home

The overall living conditions of the facility might give you some context about the quality of care your loved one is receiving. Look for signs of unclean living quarters, bathrooms, common areas, and cafeterias. Eat meals with your loved one to assess the quality of the food they’re given.

Do Research About the Quality of Care the Facility Provides

In addition to personally inspecting the conditions your loved one is living in, you can also review online sources, such as Medicare’s nursing home ratings, to determine how well the facility fares in a variety of metrics. We’ve also compiled a guide to help you track down this information.

When You Need Legal Help, Contact J.P. Sawyer

At Sawyer Law Firm, we focus much of our practice on helping nursing home residents and their families hold negligent nursing homes accountable. Many of our clients first come to us after noticing clear signs that their loved ones are being mistreated, and they want answers about their legal options.

During your free consultation, we’ll listen to your loved one’s situation and help you understand your options. Contact our Alabama nursing home injury lawyers today to get started.

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