Making the decision to put an aging parent or grandparent in a nursing home can be agonizing. There can be guilt, sadness and an amalgamation of many other emotions.
Still, you acknowledge that the only way for them to receive the level of care they need at this phase of their lives is in a professional setting. You did what you had to do.
But, don’t become complacent and think that everything will be fine for them now and in the future. There is a real problem with nursing home neglect all over the United States. Because it takes so many different forms, it can be difficult to pinpoint sometimes. Below are a few things to look out for.
Overuse of chemical restraints
Ideally, medications that incapacitate patients are only used in the midst of a psychotic break to protect the patient and others from harm. If your loved one appears overly sedated, discuss this with their physician.
Both bedbound patients and those confined to wheelchairs or forced to sit in the same position for hours are at a high risk for developing decubitus ulcers, or bedsores. Changing the positioning of the patient regularly alleviates this problem.
Unexplained weight loss
Dementia patients lose the ability to feed themselves as their conditions worsen. If they are not fed by their caregivers, they can slowly starve to death.
Wandering away from the unit or facility
Patient elopement is a real problem with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Your loved one could face terrible risks and even death if they are unsupervised and slip out.
Become your loved one’s advocate
If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected at their nursing facility, advocate on their behalf. That includes speaking up to doctors, staff and administrators and taking legal action when necessary. We can help you prove a case of nursing home neglect and protect your at-risk relative.