Most older adults wind up in assisted living or nursing home facilities because their family members can no longer provide the degree of care that they require for their safety and health. When someone’s health needs require around-the-clock monitoring, heavy lifting or skilled nursing care, living in a facility can be the safest solution for that person and their family members.
Unfortunately, not all nursing homes and assisted living facilities provide an adequate level of care for their residents. These for-profit businesses can sometimes put the desire for financial gain ahead of the needs of their residents, leaving them at risk of dangerous neglect.
Minimizing the amount of staff working at any given time and reducing how much pay they receive are two ways for a facility to keep its prices low. Unfortunately, such practices can quickly result in the deterioration of the quality of care that residents receive in that facility. They may soon experience neglect that could have medical consequences.
Inadequate cleaning is a bright red flag in a nursing home
Many older adults have more difficulty maneuvering in a space because of the decrease in motor function as they age. They may also have a less robust immune system when compared with younger people. As such, both physical messes and invisible filth are risks in nursing homes.
Staff members should do everything in their power to keep the facilities clean and clear of clutter. They should also habitually sanitize surfaces and objects.
Additionally, staff will typically play a major role in keeping residents clean by assisting them with grooming, bathing and dressing. Whether your loved one looks unkempt and greasy or the space is visibly dirty, cluttered or dusty, those could all be warning signs of inadequate staffing and therefore potential neglect in a nursing home facility.
Falls shouldn’t happen in nursing home facilities
Falls are a leading cause of severe injury to older adults, which is one reason why residents in nursing homes often require support from staff. People living in nursing homes may need assistance with everything from dressing themselves or going to the bathroom to moving from their room to a communal space where they can interact with other residents.
If staff members don’t respond quickly to calls from residents for help going to the bathroom or with other basic needs, residents might try to do these things on their own, leading to completely preventable falls and injuries.
If your loved one fell, especially if staff members weren’t present at the time of the fall, that could be an indicator of ongoing neglect and a potential need to take action to protect your loved one and other residents at the facility.