Trusting a facility and its caregivers to care for your aging loved one does not mean letting down your guard for signs of neglect or abuse. Signs of abuse are often more glaring and visible than signs of neglect; however, neglect can be very damaging.
A few signs of neglect are more subtle than others.
1. Lack of cleanliness
If you notice a marked difference in your loved one’s personal hygiene, it is possible caregivers are not providing the level of attention necessary. Take note of oral health and personal grooming to ensure caregivers are not neglecting this duty, especially if your loved one needs help with these activities.
Nursing home staff should also clean residents’ personal living space. Fresh bedding, clean clothes and sanitary bathrooms are necessary to promote good general health.
2. Changes in mobility
People often move into nursing homes when mobility becomes a challenge. Nursing home staff should work with your loved one to exercise regularly to keep muscle strength and maintain mobility. If your loved one loses mobility after becoming a resident, caregivers may be failing in their duties.
3. Increased weakness
If your loved one is not getting enough to eat or drink, he or she may be suffering from malnutrition and dehydration. Both problems can lead to increased overall weakness in the body.
Do not be afraid to question things if you feel something is not right. If you have concerns that your loved one may be suffering from neglect, ask about the care he or she is receiving. You are your loved one’s best advocate.