Sadly, we have seen a lot of nursing home neglect cases over the years. It’s heartbreaking. A family puts its trust in a home to care for their older loved ones only to have that trust betrayed. Sometimes that betrayal causes a preventable death.
Hands down, the most common sign we see is pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores. People who spend most of the day in bed need to be turned once every hour or their skin will be damaged by prolonged contact. This is a basic standard of care that’s been recognized for over a century, but some nursing home staff are unwilling or unable to follow through.
Another common occurrence we see is unattended falls that put elderly people on a downward spiral. A nursing home resident will push a button for help at midnight to be escorted to the bathroom, but no one will respond. In desperation, the resident will attempt to walk on their own, fall down, and suffer a terrible injury such as a broken hip.
A broken hip late in life robs people of their mobility and older people need their daily exercise even if it’s just a brief walk. Besides the physical problems, the mental anguish sets in as well and sadly, this leads too many people on a downward spiral that ends in their death. It’s called “failure to thrive” and it happens far too often.
From our experience, elderly loved ones in neglect cases know what’s happening to them is wrong, but tragically many of them give up and accept the neglect. Listen to your loved ones and if they aren’t being taken care of properly you will need a helping hand to guide you on your options.