Key signs to watch for if you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse

As parents and other loved ones age and it becomes difficult for you or other family members to care for them, it is often easier to entrust them to a nursing home or assisted living facility. These facilities are designed to care for the elderly with everything from basic tasks like grooming and bathing, to medical treatment for serious diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. But when leaving family members in the care of others, the possibility of nursing home abuse or neglect may weigh heavily on your mind. If you fear that the facility is mistreating your loved one, here are several signs to watch out for.

The difference between neglect and abuse

Neglect is defined as a failure to provide the basic services that guarantee the patient is free from pain or harm. This included failing to react quickly to a dangerous situation that may cause the patient harm or anxiety.

Abuse occurs when there is an intentional effort to harm, confine or intimidate the patient. These actions often result in pain, mental anguish or physical harm, and should not be something you have to worry about when you place your loved one in the care of a professional facility.

What are the types of neglect and abuse?

Abuse and neglect can come in many different forms, which often makes it harder to track all the symptoms. Some types of neglect and abuse include:

  • Lack of treatment for current medical problems
  • Deprivation of water or food for prolonged periods of time
  • Assault and battery such as pushing, beating, kicking, slapping or emotional abuse
  • Unreasonable seclusion or restraint
  • Sexual assault or battery
  • Use of medications to tranquilize or sedate patients without the appropriate authorization by a physician

What should you watch for?

Even one of these abuses can be devastating to you and your family member, and more than one may occur at a time. If you are concerned about the patient, thes e are a few signs of abuse to watch for:

  • Unsanitary, unsafe living conditions that don’t meet the safety and security requirements of Texas
  • Health issues from a lack of nutrition
  • Poor personal hygiene such as unclipped nails, lack of bathing, constantly uncombed hair or teeth that aren’t brushed
  • Unexplained injuries like bruises or broken bones
  • Psychological issues such as anger, anxiety or resentment when you leave or the patient is left alone with a staff member
  • Lack or loss of mobility

These are just a few signs that a patient may be suffering under the care of the staff at your chosen facility. If you are concerned about these issues and want to know your legal options, speak to an attorney today.