Symptoms of Nursing Home Neglect.

Bedsores

Pressure sores, also known as “bedsores,” “pressure ulcers” or “decubitus ulcers,” develop as a result of unrelenting pressure to a part of the body that restricts blood flow to the skin, causing surrounding cells to die.  Pressure sores or “bedsores” can develop as a result of neglect and the failure of caregiving staff to properly turn frail elderly patients who remain in the same position for hours.  Pressure sores or “bedsores” are not a natural part of the aging process and are almost always preventable with proper care.  If your loved one developed a pressure sore or bedsore or pressure ulcer ( at a facility you should take a very close look at the care they received.

Common issues with pressure sores or bedsores in nursing homes:  Staff fail to inform families that there is a pressure ulcer or bedsore on the nursing home resident.  The facility fails to generate a new care plan for the pressure sore, fails to document the bedsore correctly, and/or fails to inform the resident’s physician about the pressure ulcer / bedsore and its progression.  Pressure sores or bedsores will often become infected, leading to sepsis and/or even death from complications.

Click here to learn more about PRESSURE SORES.

Pressure Sores or Pressure Ulcers

Pressure sores, or “pressure ulcers” are also known as “bedsores,” or “decubitus ulcers.” These wounds develop as a result of continuous and intense pressure, typically to a bony prominence, which in turn, cuts off the blood flow to the skin and surrounding tissues, causing surrounding the cells to deteriorate and die.  Pressure sores or “bedsores” can develop as a result of neglect and the failure of nursing staff to rotate or turn frail, elderly patients who remain in the same position for prolonged periods of time.  Pressure sores or “bedsores” are not a natural part getting old  and are almost always entirely avoidable with proper basic care.  If your loved one developed a pressure sore or bedsore or pressure ulcer at a nursing home you should be very concerned about the care they received.

Common issues with pressure sores or bedsores in nursing homes:  Staff fail to inform families that there is a pressure sore or decubitus ulcer on the nursing home resident’s body.  The facility fails to generate a new care plan for the pressure sore, fails to document the bedsore correctly, and/or fails to inform the resident’s physician about the pressure ulcer / bedsore and its progression.  Pressure sores or bedsores will often become infected, leading to sepsis and/or even death.

Click here to learn more about PRESSURE SORES.

Dehydration

Dehydration can occur when a nursing home resident or patient is not provided proper care.  When staff fails to ensure that a patient’s nutritional needs are met, it often leads to a variety of harm, including dehydration, which can increase the risk of confusion, dizziness, and the development of pressure sores.  Staff’s failure to monitor a patient’s hydration and output can be an indication of neglect or abuse.

Weight Loss / Malnutrition

Weight loss can occur when a nursing home patient is not provided proper care.  When staff fails to insure that a patient’s nutritional needs are met, it often leads to a variety of harm, including dehydration and weight loss, which can increase the risk of confusion, dizziness, and the development of pressure sores.  Staff’s failure to monitor a patient’s nutrition can be an indication of neglect or abuse.

Staff is required to document a residents weight loss in a nursing facility.  If a resident at a nursing home loses 5% or more of their body weight, caregivers are required to report that weight loss to the family members and the resident’s physician. Continued weight loss can indicate elder neglect or abuse at the facility.

What should staff at a nursing home do if they observe weight loss in a resident?  They need to address the weight loss as a change of condition.  Staff is required to to create a plan of care for the weight loss, they should have a nutritionist assess the resident and they should evaluate the resident’s needs for assistance with eating and/or the potential need for a different type of diet.  Weight loss of a resident at a nursing home can also indicate a host of other issues:  wounds, pressure sores, bedsores, or other illnesses that need to be addressed.

Learn more about weight loss / malnutrition here.

Falls / Injuries from Falls

Falls can lead to serious injuries in frail elderly patients at nursing homes or assisted living facilities.  Depending on their needs, elderly residents can have a history of falls or can be at risk of falling if properly evaluated.  Knowing this, the nursing homes or assisted living facilities that care for residents are required to take steps to ensure that patients are properly monitored and cared for based to prevent falls and the injuries that happen from elders falling in nursing homes.  When a patient falls, one has to ask why the patient was put in a position where the risk of falling was present?  Often dignified elderly residents who need to go to the bathroom do not want to wait for caregivers who are not responding to their call lights – instead, they try to get up and make it on their own and injure themselves by falling.

Unwitnessed or repeated falls can be indicative of elder neglect or abuse.  Falls can be extremely dangerous to elderly nursing home residents and can result in broken bones, fractures, or even death.  Repeated falls at a nursing home or assisted living facility should be investigated to see if elder neglect or elder abuse has taken place.  What did the nursing home or assisted living facility do to prevent further falls?  What did they do to address the injuries that resulted in the elderly resident from the fall?  Allowing an elderly resident repeatedly fall can be mentally devastating to the resident.

Failure to Inform / Changes of Condition

Many clients come to us saying they had “no idea” how bad off their mom or dad was until they were rushed to the hospital and told they had little chance to survive.  One of the principle aspects of nursing is monitoring a resident so that you know when there are changes of condition.  When you don’t have the time or resources to monitor your resident, obvious signs of distress, pain, infection, dehydration, injury, etc can go undiagnosed.  Worse, when neglectful care leads to bad results and caregivers are scared to admit what happen, families are kept in the dark and deprived of the ability to advocate for their loved one.

Wandering / Elopement

Residents that suffer from dementia and other memory related diseases will often wanter and/or leave the grounds of a nursing home.  It is incumbent upon the nursing home to assess wether this will be an issue for a resident and to take steps to guard against wandering and elopement.  When a resident that can’t care from himself leaves the premises, the results can be  tragic.

Medication Errors

Frail elderly residents rely on nursing homes staff to provide and/or administer medications.  Medication errors, as you can imagine, can present a variety of issues for a patient, and can even be life threatening.  Medication errors can be a function of understaffing or lack of training, which leads to the errors – highlighting troubling issues with the facility that will invariably lead to neglect of vulnerable residents.

Over-Medication

Put quite simply – drugging residents to make them compliant. A nursing home or assisted living facility that is understaffed or not trained properly will at times resort very quickly to the use of medication under the guise of a perceived “symptom.”  A well equipped, well trained, well staffed nursing home will address issues such as combativeness, sorrow or other complex human issues with dignity and respect.  Unfortunately, this is not true of all nursing homes.  If your loved one is in a zombie-like state, you may want to consider having our experts look at wether or not they have been properly medicated by nursing home staff.

Restraints – Physical and Chemical

Physical Restraints

Caring for high-needs elderly residents can be a challenging task.  It takes a staff that is sufficient in numbers, training, and supervision to handle obstacles. Dealing with difficult situations, such as combative residents with dementia, can cause an overburdened, hurried staff to resort to physical restraints.  Sometimes physical restraints are obvious, such as the literal tying down of resident’s limbs.  Other times an overworked and unsupported staff will place residents in recliners in a supine position from which they cannot more or rise.  Resorting to physical restraints is almost always unnecessary and a red flag that elder neglect is occurring within a facility.  Families should be informed that they resident and/or the responsible party for the resident is required to consent to the use of physical restraints.

Chemical Restraints

As discussed under “over-medication,” some nursing homes and assisted living facilities simply use drugs to pacify residents and make them less needy.  This robs residents of their dignity and has the effect of taking the life and spirit out of the residents.  Click on “over-medication” and “chemical restraints” to the left to learn more.

Chemical Restraints

As discussed elsewhere, restraints are a way to control a residents and restrict their movement.  Shockingly, some nursing homes will resort to the use of chemical restraints – i.e. high powered psychotropic medications used to pacify high-needs residents, restrict their freedom of movement and generally sedate them to make them less “needy.”  There is no doubt that some residents at nursing homes present challenges, but resorting to multiple high-powered medications to address their issues should be examined very, very closely if you are a family member.  Be sure to ask questions about how the nursing home can address the underlying issue with more staff, more training or more supervision before resorting to drugs.  If you feel your loved one has been a victim of chemical restraints, you should contact us immediately.

Broken Bones

Broken bones can often be a red flag of elder abuse or nursing home neglect.  Broken bones can be indicative of physical abuse or the failure of staff to properly monitor residents who then fall and suffer painful, preventable injuries.  Either way, broken bones are extremely concerning and should cause families to be concerned of potential elder abuse or nursing home neglect.  We have seen scenarios where elderly residents fall repeatedly, suffer a broken hip, and are placed back in bed where they are left to writhe in pain without the break being addressed.  Caregivers often will fear the family will find out about the original neglect leading to the fall and injury.  Contact immediately if your loved one has a seemingly inexplicable broken bone at a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Physical Abuse

As scary and unbelievable as it seems, physical abuse of elderly residents does occur.  Unfortunately, it can often be explained  by a facility’s failure to properly check the background of violent employees or a failure on the the facilities part to poorly train staff about how to deal with complex issues that occur in the care of dementia and other high-needs residents.  Unprepared, untrained caregivers can resort to physical abuse.  Call our staff immediately if you suspect physical abuse.

Bedsores

Pressure sores, also known as “bedsores,” “pressure ulcers” or “decubitus ulcers,” develop as a result of unrelenting pressure to a part of the body that restricts blood flow to the skin, causing surrounding cells to die.  Pressure sores or “bedsores” can develop as a result of neglect and the failure of caregiving staff to properly turn frail elderly patients who remain in the same position for hours.  Pressure sores or “bedsores” are not a natural part of the aging process and are almost always preventable with proper care.  If your loved one developed a pressure sore or bedsore or pressure ulcer ( at a facility you should take a very close look at the care they received.

Click here to learn more about PRESSURE SORES.

Pressure Sores or Pressure Ulcers

Pressure sores, or “pressure ulcers” are also known as “bedsores,” or “decubitus ulcers.” These wounds develop as a result of continuous and intense pressure, typically to a bony prominence, which in turn, cuts off the blood flow to the skin and surrounding tissues, causing surrounding the cells to deteriorate and die.  Pressure sores or “bedsores” can develop as a result of neglect and the failure of nursing staff to rotate or turn frail, elderly patients who remain in the same position for prolonged periods of time.  Pressure sores or “bedsores” are not a natural part getting old  and are almost always entirely avoidable with proper basic care.  If your loved one developed a pressure sore or bedsore or pressure ulcer at a nursing home you should be very concerned about the care they received.

Click here to learn more about Pressure Sores or Pressure Ulcers…

Wandering / Elopement

Residents that suffer from dementia and other memory related diseases will often wanter and/or leave the grounds of a nursing home.  It is incumbent upon the nursing home to assess wether this will be an issue for a resident and to take steps to guard against wandering and elopement.  When a resident that can’t care from himself leaves the premises, the results can be  tragic.

Dehydration

Dehydration can occur when a nursing home resident or patient is not provided proper care.  When staff fails to ensure that a patient’s nutritional needs are met, it often leads to a variety of harm, including dehydration, which can increase the risk of confusion, dizziness, and the development of pressure sores.  Staff’s failure to monitor a patient’s hydration and output can be an indication of neglect or abuse.

Click here to learn more about dehydration.

Falls / Injuries from Falls

Falls can lead to serious injuries in frail elderly patients at nursing homes or assisted living facilities.  Depending on their needs, elderly residents can have a history of falls or can be at risk of falling if properly evaluated.  Knowing this, the nursing homes or assisted living facilities that care for residents are required to take steps to ensure that patients are properly monitored and cared for based to prevent falls and the injuries that happen from elders falling in nursing homes.  When a patient falls, one has to ask why the patient was put in a position where the risk of falling was present?  Often dignified elderly residents who need to go to the bathroom do not want to wait for caregivers who are not responding to their call lights – instead, they try to get up and make it on their own and injure themselves by falling.

Unwitnessed or repeated falls can be indicative of elder neglect or abuse.  Falls can be extremely dangerous to elderly nursing home residents and can result in broken bones, fractures, or even death.  Repeated falls at a nursing home or assisted living facility should be investigated to see if elder neglect or elder abuse has taken place.  What did the nursing home or assisted living facility do to prevent further falls?  What did they do to address the injuries that resulted in the elderly resident from the fall?  Allowing an elderly resident repeatedly fall can be mentally devastating to the resident.

Weight Loss / Malnutrition

Weight loss can occur when a nursing home patient is not provided proper care.  When staff fails to insure that a patient’s nutritional needs are met, it often leads to a variety of harm, including dehydration and weight loss, which can increase the risk of confusion, dizziness, and the development of pressure sores.  Staff’s failure to monitor a patient’s nutrition can be an indication of neglect or abuse.

Staff is required to document a residents weight loss in a nursing facility.  If a resident at a nursing home loses 5% or more of their body weight, caregivers are required to report that weight loss to the family members and the resident’s physician. Continued weight loss can indicate elder neglect or abuse at the facility.

Learn more about weight loss / malnutrition here.

Failure to Inform / Changes of Condition

Many clients come to us saying they had “no idea” how bad off their mom or dad was until they were rushed to the hospital and told they had little chance to survive.  One of the principle aspects of nursing is monitoring a resident so that you know when there are changes of condition.  When you don’t have the time or resources to monitor your resident, obvious signs of distress, pain, infection, dehydration, injury, etc can go undiagnosed.  Worse, when neglectful care leads to bad results and caregivers are scared to admit what happen, families are kept in the dark and deprived of the ability to advocate for their loved one.

Medication Errors

Frail elderly residents rely on nursing homes staff to provide and/or administer medications.  Medication errors, as you can imagine, can present a variety of issues for a patient, and can even be life threatening.  Medication errors can be a function of understaffing or lack of training, which leads to the errors – highlighting troubling issues with the facility that will invariably lead to neglect of vulnerable residents.

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