Nursing home neglect is something that you may find harder to identify than abuse. Someone who is neglected may get used to being left alone for days at a time, or the staff of a nursing home may know when families are coming and get those who are neglected ready and cleaned up only when they have to.
The sad reality is that neglect is often easy to hide and difficult to identify. Without physical signs of abuse, neglect could go on for months or years without being noticed by those who visit loved ones in their nursing homes.
Are there signs of neglect that are harder to cover up?
Yes. Some signs of neglect that aren’t as easy to hide include:
- Bedsores/injuries from immobility
- Dental problems from not assisting with basic hygiene
While some elderly people are more likely to suffer from problems like dehydration or dental issues due to medication use or other issues, if your loved one did not have a propensity to develop these issues in the past, they could be markers of neglect.
What should you do if you believe your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home?
If you believe that your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, and they are not injured, it would be smart to start visiting more often to interact more with their care. Sometimes, what appears to be abuse is the natural decline in a loved one’s health. However, things like bedsores, significant dehydration and injuries need immediate care, so you should speak up if you begin to notice obvious issues with the care your loved one has received.