The decision to put your mother, father, grandpa, grandma, or another family member in a nursing home or care facility isn’t easy.

It can be a very stressful and emotional experience.    Even though you do your diligence in trying to find the best facility that fits the needs of your family member, elderly neglect can still occur.

Here is what you need to look out for if you suspect your family member is getting neglected:

  • Confusion, drowsiness, disoriented, and increased sleep can indicate your loved one is experiencing side effects or are receiving the wrong dose of medication.
  • Skin irritations or a diaper rash can indicate your family member has been sitting in their stool for long periods due to staff being unavailable to help or assistant with going to the bathroom.
  • Difficulty getting around because they have not been taking daily walks or getting regular exercise, can indicate the staff is not assisting them or providing proper physical activity.
  • Personal hygiene appears worse because they are not getting attention; they need to address their care or bath and toileting needs.  Signs of this can include the smell of feces and urine, and they are wearing the same or dirty cloths, they have unwashed hair, they have body odor, and untrimmed finger and toenails.
  • Bruises, scratches, dislocations, and broken bones that cannot be explained can indicate your family member experienced rough or forceful behavior.  This can happen when they were being repositioned, transferred, or forced to eat or take medication.
  • Cracked lips, swollen tongue, dry mouth, weakness or decreased urinating as can be a sign, they are not getting enough food or liquids.    If not treated, it can lead them to become malnourished, dehydrated, and have extreme weight loss. This can occur if the care facilities staff neglects to feed or assist with feeding.
  • Open wounds, bedsores, and frequent urinary tract infections can be indicators that your family member is getting improper care.              When they are confined to their bed or not given proper medical attention, especially if they have diabetes or have another chronically ill condition.
  • Unexplained falls or accidents occur due to inadequate supervision and incompetent help to prevent these types of incidents that can compromise your loved one’s safety and health.
  • Signs of emotional abuse can include anxiousness, fearfulness, being agitated, feeling guilty, or embarrassed, especially if their cries for help go unanswered by the care facilities staff.  Also, they may show these types of behaviors because they have been bullied, humiliated, threatened, punished, or ridiculed.
  • Isolation and lack of wanting to participate in activities they once enjoyed, can be a sign they are not getting any physical or mental stimulation and group participation.  Also, if they avoid or won’t discuss specific topics, it might be because they are being silenced, out of fear of retaliation.

Elderly abuse is one of the most common forms of neglect, and if not addressed, it can result in severe injuries and possibly death.