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Warning Signs of Possible Nursing Home Neglect, Part One: Red Flags in the Facility

Posted on in Neglect

b2ap3_thumbnail_wheelchair-broken-down-neglect.jpgIf you have a loved one in nursing home, deciding which facility to use was probably not an easy decision. While you might have struggled to find a place that was affordable that worked with your loved one’s insurance coverage, you were also likely concerned about the quality of the care offered by the home. After all, you have the right to expect that your loved one will receive proper care, as well to be treated with dignity and respect.

Sadly, such is not always the case for nursing home patients. On almost a weekly basis, it seems, there is another story making headlines about patients who were abused or mistreated by staff members or other patients. While nursing home abuse is certainly horrific, the issue of neglect in nursing homes is equally troubling and much more common. Abuse, in this context, refers to active mistreatment or intentional behaviors directed toward a patient, while neglect refers to patients not receiving proper care of attention.

What to Look For

Experts say that, in most cases of nursing home neglect, many warning signs exist, and anyone who pays close enough attention should be able to see them. Many such signs involve the patients, of course, but the facility itself may also have its share of red flags, including:

  • Posters and fliers that suggest staffing issues: When you go to visit your loved one, are there signs in the hallway or on bulletins advertising that the facility is hiring? It is not uncommon for workplaces to offer referral bonuses or incentives for working extra hours, but fliers to that effect in public areas of the nursing home could be an indication that the facility is understaffed. Understaffing is a major contributing factor in many nursing home neglect cases.
  • Ringing phones and slow response times: If the staff at your loved one’s facility does not have time to answer a ringing phone, you should be wondering why. You should not hear the telephone at the nurses’ station ringing constantly. Likewise, if your loved pushes the call button to request help with something, a nursing staff member should respond quickly. If they do not—and it is not during mealtime or a shift change—you could have a potential problem on your hand. Both of these scenarios could be examples of severe understaffing, as well.
  • Dust, dirt, and general maintenance: Take a look around your loved one’s facility, both inside and outside his or her room. Does it look like it has been cleaned recently? Are there maintenance issues, such as loose door handles, chipped floor tiles, or peeling paint, that have not been addressed? In most nursing homes, the cleaning and maintenance staff are separate from the nursing staff, but the cleanliness of the facility could be an indicator of poor quality control standards. If the same standards apply to the nursing staff, you might need to be concerned about your loved one’s safety.

Contact an Illinois Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

If you suspect that your loved one has suffered neglect while living or staying in a nursing home, contact a Chicago nursing home injury lawyer to discuss your available options. Call Schwartz Injury Law at 312-535-4625 for a free consultation today. We have the knowledge and skills to help you protect your loved one.

 

Sources:

https://www.nextavenue.org/6-signs-of-nursing-home-neglect/

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-nursing-homes/articles/2013/02/26/9-warning-signs-of-bad-care

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