Choosing to place a loved one in a nursing home facility isn't easy, but it often becomes necessary as your loved ones age. Unfortunately, moving a loved one into a nursing home facility means that unrelated individuals will provide the majority of care that they receive for the rest of their life. Those individuals may not receive very good wages or have the best interest of your loved one at heart.
Educating yourself about some of the signs of potential abuse or neglect could help you keep your loved one safe during their stay in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Bed sores or infestations are serious red flags
Those who cannot easily move themselves will eventually develop bed sores. These painful pressure ulcers form at places where their body contacts their mattress or chair. However, the developments of bedsores is not an inevitable consequence of immobility.
Proper cushioning, careful rotation and monitoring by medical professionals can prevent the vast majority of bed sores. While some people are simply more prone to pressure ulcers than others, most cases of pressure ulcers that occur in nursing homes could be prevented with adequate care.
If you notice even early stages of a bad sore developing on your loved one, you should immediately request better care and document the wound and the response of the staff at the nursing home.
In the same manner, any infestation of common pests is a sign of improper care and inadequate cleanliness. Bed bugs, lice and even scabies can quickly spread in residential facilities. Your loved one should not have to suffer through an untreated infestation. Note the presence of any such pests and demand immediate action.
Pay attention to changes in your loved one or hovering nursing home staff
Maybe your loved one has become quiet and withdrawn. Perhaps they have turned into a person whom you barely recognize and who seems afraid of all human contact. Those are warning signs of caregiver abuse.
In some cases, your loved one could attempt to tell you about what they have to endure in the nursing home. You should always give a loved one the benefit of the doubt and look into any complaints made about the conditions in which they live.
Finally, be wary of nursing home staff who won't give you time alone with your family member. Hovering staff may do so specifically because they worry about what your loved one will expose about the conditions at the nursing home. Ask for privacy, and if you don't get it, make a note to follow up as soon as possible.
Remaining proactive can help protect your loved one from unnecessary exposure to abuse and mistreatment in a nursing home facility. However, nothing you do can totally mitigate the risk of abuse by those providing care. In the event that your loved one does suffer injuries or illness as a result of neglect or abuse in a McHenry facility, you may need to move them to a new one and take action against the negligent or abusive facility.