One of the reasons that many people make the difficult decision to move an elderly loved one into a nursing home is that they are suffering from self-neglect. Self-neglect is especially prevalent among seniors who live alone.
Why does self-neglect happen?
Self-neglect can happen because a person simply chooses not to take care of themselves. It can occur when someone becomes unable to care for themselves as they once did. It can occur because they’re suffering from some form of dementia and are unaware that they aren’t eating, bathing or keeping the house clean.
In fact, hoarding can be one of the signs of self-neglect. People may just not bother to throw things out. It may reach a point where their home becomes a health and safety hazard.
When people entrust a loved one to a nursing home, they expect them to be well taken care of. Unfortunately, in some cases, self-neglect is simply replaced by nursing home neglect. The elderly person may not even realize that they’re not getting the standard of care they deserve.
That’s why it’s essential to recognize the signs of neglect if you have a loved one in a nursing home. There are many different kinds of neglect. These include:
- Basic needs neglect: This includes absent safety precautions, like grab bars in bathrooms and bed safety railings on beds. It also includes lack of adequate food and sufficient hydration.
- Medical neglect: This can include lack of attention to a person’s injuries or illness, skipping dosages of medications, mixing up medications or prescribing drugs that interact adversely with other medications a person is taking.
- Emotional/social neglect: This can be harder to spot. It can include leaving residents alone for a long time, unkind treatment and indifference.
Is nursing home neglect deliberate?
Nursing home neglect often isn’t intentional. It can be caused by staffing shortages and poor training. Those aren’t excuses, though. If you notice negative changes in your loved one’s physical and/or emotional well-being, try to get them to tell you what the problem is. If they won’t, or don’t see a problem, talk to the staff and managers at the nursing home.
If they fail to resolve the issue or if your loved one has suffered harm, you’ll likely need to remove them from the facility. It’s also a good idea to talk to an experienced attorney to determine what your legal options are.