Neglect in nursing homes takes many forms. Maybe the staff doesn’t come when the person pushes the emergency alarm. Maybe they forget to give them their medication on time. Maybe they don’t help a patient move and roll over, leading to bedsores. Even when it’s not direct abuse, neglect can cause serious issues.
Don’t always assume it will involve a major event with massive red flags, though. It could be very simple, something that flies under the radar, but it could still have serious ramifications.
For instance, what if your elderly loved one cannot get food and water on their own, but the staff neglects to help them? Even a short time without water can lead to a tremendous decline in their health. Signs of dehydration include:
- Complaining about a dry mouth, about headaches or about feeling dizzy
- Having trouble walking or even just standing up
- Having eyes that appear sunken in
- A drop in urine output, blood pressure or both
- An increase in instances of constipation and other such issues
- An increased heart rate
The person may also seem tired, distracted or disoriented when you talk to them. You’ll be able to tell that something is wrong, even if you’re not sure exactly what it is.
This is especially a problem in nursing homes and assisted living centers because the elderly person may not remember when they last had a drink or may have no ability to communicate their discomfort. You may also expect some of these issues simply because of aging, so you may not notice the neglect. You really have to look for the red flags to see if they’re being neglected, and then you need to know what rights you have if they are.