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What are some identifying factors of nursing home abuse?

When your loved one goes into nursing home care, you want him or her to experience only the best. If you're concerned that abuse or neglect is taking place, there are a few things you should look for and identify, so you can give evidence and information to your attorney.

Poor hygiene is the first thing you should look for if you suspect nursing home neglect. A good nursing home takes time to bathe patients or to help patients bathe, giving them the respect they deserve. Basic personal hygiene is a must in these facilities, and nurses should be taking the time to help patients perform these tasks.

Another thing to look for is physical ailments caused by poor nutrition. Malnutrition may leave patients looking pale or cause them to lose weight, while dehydration can result in hallucinations and other serious side effects. Good nursing facilities provide patients with as much water as they want or need and encourage good eating habits.

Unexplained injuries may also be a sign of a dangerous or neglectful nursing home. Broken bones, head injuries and other injuries can occur when patients fall or are hurt by their caregivers. Some patients are bound to fall or get hurt due to age, but most injuries are preventable. Patients should have help walking to and from their rooms if they are unsteady on their feet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that patients in nursing homes fall around 2.6 times a year; not all instances are caused by neglect, but many are.

There are other concerns to look out for as well, like odd behavior or sudden illnesses. Make sure to document anything unusual you notice.

Source: Next Avenue, "6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect," Sarah Blanchard, accessed Sep. 27, 2016

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