Choosing to move an elderly family member into a skilled nursing facility can be difficult. This decision is often made out of concern for the senior’s safety. When a person can no longer live at home because they are no longer able to care for themselves, or because their care has become overwhelming for family members, placement in a nursing home may be the best option. Nursing home residents are supposed to be cared for in a safe environment by skilled, concerned caregivers. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are of equal quality. There are a few known telltale signs that a particular nursing home may not be the best place for vulnerable elderly people. If you notice several of these signs in the nursing home that is caring for your loved one, you may want to do a little more digging to find out whether they have been receiving the appropriate care. If you find that they may have been harmed by a negligent nursing home, you may want to speak to an attorney.
Nursing Home Red Flags to be Aware of
When you are visiting your family member or speaking to their care team, these signs may be a signal that something is wrong. Signs of an unsafe nursing home include:
Understaffing - When a nursing home does not have enough caregivers present to adequately meet all of the resident’s needs, important issues can fall through the cracks and your family member may not be receiving all the care and attention they need. Understaffing is a major problem at this time due in part to a shortage of nurses.
Difficult to contact - Calls from concerned family members may not be answered immediately, but it should not be excessively difficult to speak with someone on your relative’s care team. If your calls are not being returned and you cannot get through to someone who can answer your questions or respond to your concerns, it may be a sign that care is lacking in the facility.
Unexplained injuries - Occasional scrapes and minor bruising are fairly normal, as elderly individuals can be more fragile than others. However, more serious injuries, including significant bruising, should be well-documented and explained. If you cannot get a good explanation for how your loved one was injured, it may be a good idea to investigate further.
Unanswered call light - While you are visiting, observe how long it takes for your loved one’s call light to be answered. If no one arrives to check on your relative in a timely manner, this may be cause for concern.
Drastic personality change - While mental status deterioration is to be expected, a sudden and severe personality change may indicate abuse.
If you notice signs that your loved one’s nursing home is unsafe, it is a good idea to seek out more information. An attorney may be able to help with this.
Contact a Kane County Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. represents victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. If your family member has been harmed by a nursing home, our skilled Aurora nursing home negligence attorneys may be able to recover compensation on their behalf. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation.