Nursing home neglect prevention

This week I met with several families who believe their loved ones were neglected or abused in a Tennessee Nursing Home. This week was not different from most. What is frustrating about my job is that by nature it tends to be reactive. By the time someone is sitting in my office their loved one has been injured or may have passed. My office does all we can to give people a voice and find justice but we can never undue the harm that has been done.

In an effort to help people detect neglect I would like to make a few suggestions. Visit the nursing home often. Get to know all of the employees you can on a personal level. Also, develop relationships with other residents and families. They can all watch out for each other. Communication with the facility is key.

Also, watch out for common signs of nursing home neglect. These signs may include the following:

# Untreated bed sores # Unexplained wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts # Bruises in a pattern that would suggest restraints # Extreme and sudden weight loss # Fleas, lice, dirt on resident or in the resident’s room # Fecal/urine odors # Poor personal hygiene or other unattended health problems

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