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How neglect can impact a nursing home resident's health

If you had to place a parent, grandparent or other family member in a nursing home, it was probably because they need ongoing care. Many adults don't have the time to provide daily aid to a loved one, especially if they have a career or minor children at home. You probably assumed that the nursing home facility will take great pains to ensure your loved one receives adequate care.

Sadly, countless vulnerable adults end up victimized due to neglect or even abuse in nursing home facilities. Learning how neglect impacts the life of your loved one can help you advocate for better care and avoid the worst possible consequences.

Neglect could lead to a life-altering slip or fall

One of the biggest risks for older adults is the potential to fall and suffer severe injuries. As people age, their risk for broken hips or other major bones increases. A fall can result not only in painful injuries but in a permanent reduction in or loss of mobility.

If your loved one already has compromised mobility, they probably require help with tasks such as going to the bathroom or getting dressed. If nursing staff neglects to attend to your loved one in a timely manner they may attempt to perform those duties on their own. That could increase the risk of a slip-and-fall.

If your loved one reports falling, even if there were no major injuries, that could be a warning sign of neglect or understaffing.

Inadequate care of bedridden patients can lead to deadly infections

Most people are at least topically aware of bed sores, also called pressure ulcers. These injuries tend to develop on parts of the body that pressed down into chairs or mattresses for protracted periods of time. Those with reduced mobility often are at increased risk of developing bed sores. With proper care, including regular movement, patient shifting and cushioning support, bed sores are almost always preventable.

When staff does not have the time or inclination to help your loved one move and adjust position, that can increase the risk of bed sores. Left untreated, bedsores can become so bad that they damage not just the skin, but the muscle and even bone. They can also become infected, and that infection could pose a fatal risk to your loved one.

Your loved one deserves care, not neglect

You brought your loved one to a nursing home because you expect that they will receive adequate care. Neglect can lead to severe injuries, illness and even death. That's why these facilities have a critical duty of care to their residents, to ensure their safety and well-being.

If you have any reason to suspect that a nursing home is neglecting your loved one, you should document the injuries and seek alternative care while looking into your rights.

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