No one wants to think about their loved one suffering a nursing home injury as a result of a staff member’s negligence or intentional actions. Sadly, many people are harmed in nursing homes in New York and throughout the country. One of the most common causes is simply neglect and mistakes, which are things that you can identify if you are present in the home often enough.
For example, if you know your loved one’s medicine schedule and notice that no one has come to deliver a nightly medication long after it was due, you can reach out and ask what’s going on. If you find that your loved one is pressing a call button but no one responds, you’re there to go find someone and complain.
Of course, in those cases, you’re there to protect your loved one. In other cases, they may not be so lucky. That’s why you need to recognize signs of abuse and neglect. Some common signs of abuse and neglect include:
- Bedsores, which can be caused by a lack of mobility and lack of attending to during the day or night
- Dehydration, which is a sign of not getting enough to eat or drink during the day
- Missed medications leading to behavior changes or a decline in health
- Bruises or lacerations from intentional abuse
- Sudden and unusual injuries, such as broken hips or shoulders from falls
In any of these cases, it’s a good idea to speak with the nursing home’s director and to call 911 right away. Your loved one may need immediate medical care, especially if they have open wounds or are suffering from dehydration. Once the medical team arrives and takes them to the hospital, you can document everything that has happened and make sure you report it to your attorney.
Nursing homes have an obligation to keep patients safe and to attend to them regularly. Failing to provide them with water, help them get up to go to the restroom, give them medications on time or move immobile patients regularly can harm them significantly.
These signs of neglect and abuse are serious, and you should not waste time asking what’s happened. You can call for emergency care from your loved one’s room or ask the nursing station to do so for you immediately. If they are not easy to locate or the staff ignores your concerns, you should address the situation with the director and let your attorney know immediately.