It is sometimes difficult to identify cases of nursing home neglect because the warning signs can be extremely subtle. Depending on the type of neglect perpetrated on the nursing home resident, there may be no physical evidence of neglect.
In addition, most behavioral changes in the resident can only be identified when the nursing facility resident lives in close proximity to loved ones or friends who can adequately detect changes in the resident. Elderly residents that don’t often see their family may be unable to express their concerns about possible neglect.
Neglect can be identified by observing the following changes in the nursing facility resident (1):
– Malnutrition as evidenced by bedsores and frequent infections
– Sudden weight loss, particularly if the resident needs help to feed themselves
– Bedsores or pressure ulcers from failing to adequately turn the resident
– Falls resulting in various types of injuries
– Dehydration from failing to keep the resident stocked with adequate amounts of water
– Withdrawn behavior in the resident or abnormal changes in their behavior
– Failing to sustain friendly interaction with their fellow nursing facility residents
– Alterations in appearance or personal hygiene
– The presence of environmental hazards, such as slippery floors, bad lighting, unsafe wheelchairs and walkers and unsafe furniture in the nursing facility resident’s room