Signs Of An Unsafe Nursing Home


Placing a loved one in a nursing home is never an easy thing to do - but it's a decision many families have to make.

The top priority for most families in this situation is finding a safe and secure nursing home. Unfortunately, safety is not a given at every facility. Abuse and neglect in nursing homes are more common that many people realize.

When choosing a nursing home for a loved one, how do you know it is safe? If a loved one is already in a nursing home, what are some warning signs of an unsafe facility? Here are some things to look out for:

  • Changes in your loved one: Physical or behavioral changes in your loved one may indicate that something is wrong. Signs of physical abuse may include unexplained bruising, cuts or fractures. Signs of neglect may include sudden weight loss, dehydration or bed sores. Signs of emotional abuse may include changes in mood or behavior, depression or anxiety, agitation, fear, and sleep pattern changes.
  • Staffing issues: Residents deserve to live in a nursing home where staff have enough time to meet their needs. High turnover, understaffing, constantly ringing phones, employees that can't seem to keep up - these could all be warning signs of a facility that may not be safe for your loved one.
  • Failure to answer questions: Nursing home staff should be willing to answer your questions and address any concerns you have about the care your loved one is receiving. If it seems like staff is avoiding answering your questions - if your concerns are never addressed - your loved one may be receiving substandard care.

If you suspect something is wrong, it is important to trust your instincts. Don't ignore warning signs, even subtle ones. Many nursing home residents are unable to communicate when something is wrong - so it is up to loved ones to protect them.

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