Moving an aging relative into a nursing home is a pretty big concern for most. Not only are you searching for the best nursing home available that provides quality care and is affordable, but you have to accept the fact that someone other than you or your family is going to be caring for your loved one. And while that is already enough to deal with, the list of concerns continues to grow even after your relative is all moved in.
As much as the nursing home staff may have attempted to convince you that everything will be fine and that your loved one will be properly cared for, there are many potential hazards inside these facilities that could cause your loved one to suffer an injury or an illness. And because the nursing homes abuse lawyers here at Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. have represented numerous cases involving aging individuals who have been abused, neglected, and injured during their stay in a nursing home, we feel it is important to review with you what some of these hazards are as well as ways your loved one can avoid them.
“Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans,” according to the National Council on Aging. “Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall” and “every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.” Because a fall can have an immediate impact on an elderly individual’s life or affect them later on as it can lead to them suffering from other medical conditions, it is important for you to review with your loved one ways to reduce the chances of them falling. For instance, remind them that if they need assistance with walking, bathing, or anything else that requires them to move around, they must wait for help to arrive rather than attempt to move on their own. If you are just finding out that your relative isn’t receiving the assistance they need to move around and that this occurs on a frequent basis, it might be a sign they are being neglected.
- Rowdy Residents
While there are some nursing home residents who are still able to think and act reasonably while living in a facility, there are others who become combative and aggressive towards the staff and the other residents. Sometimes, this happens as a result of the medical condition they suffer from while other times, it is a sheer reflection of their personality. Despite what makes a resident rowdy, you need to remind your loved one to keep an eye out for these people and avoid them when they begin behaving badly. While the nursing home staff should be monitoring the residents to ensure someone who becomes abusive isn’t a threat to other residents, many facilities are understaffed and things like this are often overlooked.
- Increased risk of developing an infection
Because nursing homes house many residents who suffer from an illness or disease, it is very easy for certain bacteria to spread. Therefore, your loved one should be bathing regularly and their clothing and sheets should be washed on a regular basis. If they inform you that the facility is a bit unsanitary, consider speaking with someone higher up to ensure the appropriate steps are being taken to help avoid the spread of a contagious disease.
While you expect that your relative is being fed a healthy and nutritious diet, if they suffer from certain conditions or simply refuse to eat, it could lead to them becoming malnourished. So, be sure to check on them often and remind them of the importance of maintaining a well-balanced diet. If they prefer to eat certain foods over those that are served at the nursing home facility, consider bringing those foods in for them so that you know they are getting in the vitamins and nutrients their bodies need.
- Abusive Staff
As pleasant and friendly as the staff might appear to be, remember, nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue that occurs in many nursing homes all across the state of Illinois. Therefore, when you visit your loved one, be sure to keep an eye out for any physical or emotional signs that might indicate they are being mistreated. If, at any time, you suspect that they are, speak with the head nurse or someone higher up to be sure the issue is addressed. If you find that nothing is being done, consider moving your loved one out of that facility.
When you have a loved one living in a nursing home, it is important that you visit them on a consistent basis and always ask how things are going. Aside from that, you need to keep an eye out for any signs of abuse so that you can take immediate action to prevent them from having to endure any more harmful treatment. In the event you recently found out that your mother, father, or other aging relative isn’t being treated properly by the staff at the nursing home they live in, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyers. While it might be too soon to take any form of legal action, we would like the opportunity to listen to your concerns and provide you with some advice on how to proceed forward and handle the matter.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601