When your aging parent moved into an Illinois nursing home, it might have been a highly emotional experience for you. As an adult child, you want what's best for him or her, just as your parents have always had your best interests in mind when you were growing up. Once you researched and chose a particular nursing home that best fit your parent's financial, emotional and physical needs, you knew you'd have to trust care providers to keep him or her safe, especially in your absence.
Each time you visit your loved one, it's a good idea to pay close attention to his or her surroundings, to other patients and to staff members. Does the facility appear clean? Do the patients seem reasonably content? If you notice any issue that causes you concern, it warrants further investigation. In fact, your parent's health, well-being or very life might depend on it.
Signs of nursing home negligence
Working in a nursing home can be a highly stressful job. Especially when patients have special needs, such as those associated with dementia or bladder incontinence, etc., work demands, and caregivers can become frustrated and fatigued. However, there is no excuse for negligence regarding patient care. The following list includes signs that your loved one might be suffering from neglect:
- A disheveled appearance: Your loved one should receive regular hygiene assistance. If he or she appears unwashed, smells foul or hasn't had his or her hair brushed, you may wish to bring the matter to administrators' attention.
- Fear or agitation: If you notice that a particular worker or staff member causes your parent to feel anxious, upset or afraid, it is definitely a sign of a possible negligence or abuse problem.
- Marks on body: Elderly skin can bruise easily; however, if your parent suffers injuries and can't explain how they occurred, you'll want to follow up by inquiring about the incident with nursing home officials.
- Bed sores: It's imperative that caregivers regularly help your loved one change positions if he or she is bed-bound. Not doing so can lead to serious bed sores, infection or life-threatening injuries.
- Unattended: Did you find your loved one sitting alone in a hallway or outside? If caregivers are supposed to supervise him or her at all times and have failed to do so, you may have a negligence problem on your hands.
Sadly, many elders in Illinois nursing homes and others throughout the country have suffered serious emotional, sexual, physical and financial injuries because of nursing home negligence. You have a right to demand answers if your loved one doesn't appear well cared for. Many incidents lead to litigation, especially when patient injuries are fatal.