The New York State Department of Health has established that all nursing home residents are entitled to comfortable living conditions and respectful, quality care. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect is nevertheless a reality that many residents and their family members must face. If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, be aware of these three common signs of neglect.
Unexplained Injuries or Health Problems
Unexplained resident injuries and health problems are often some of the most obvious signs that a nursing home has been neglectful. These signs may be minor, including small bruises, cuts, and abrasions, or major, including broken bones, untreated bedsores, head injuries, dehydration, serious illnesses, and rapid changes in weight. While these signs may sometimes indicate outright abuse, they are more often evidence that nursing home staff members have been negligent and have fostered an unsafe living environment.
Sudden Emotional or Behavioral Changes
Even in the absence of physical injuries, nursing home neglect may still be a factor if your loved one exhibits sudden emotional or behavioral changes. Neglected residents often become fearful, emotionally upset, agitated, withdrawn, or noncommunicative. They may also act as though they don’t trust nursing home staff and might even refuse to speak to you when staff is present.
Signs of Unsanitary Living Conditions
Unsanitary living conditions are another form of nursing home neglect and can attribute to resident illnesses and health problems. Common areas and resident rooms may appear cluttered or dirty, clothing and bedding may not be regularly washed, and restroom and bathing facilities may be inadequately cleaned and sanitized. In extreme cases, nursing homes may show signs of bedbugs, rodents, or other pest infestations.
Nursing home neglect is never acceptable; if you suspect that your loved one has experienced neglect at the hands of caregivers, you may have a case. In addition to nursing home negligence cases, our team at Leav & Steinberg LLP has represented personal injury, general negligence, medical malpractice, and wrongful death victims throughout New York City. Contact us today to request a free consultation.