Before deciding to move a loved one into a nursing care facility, you most likely did research and conducted visits to find the best possible care. Unfortunately, however, that doesn't guarantee that the care delivered will meet appropriate standards, and, in a worst-case scenario, nursing home negligence and even elder abuse may occur. How do you know if your loved one is being properly taken care of? Below are some tip-offs that something is amiss:

  • Bed sores—also known as pressure ulcers, are painful lesions that can develop when a patient spends too much time in one position, usually on their back in bed. Nursing home staff are responsible for repositioning patients regularly and also, if possible, moving them from bed to chair so they are not stuck in one position all day and night.
  • Anxiety—if you notice a change in your loved one's emotional state, such as they seem fearful, anxious, or secretive, it may indicate psychological abuse or threats from staff. Nursing home staff are not allowed to withhold food, restrict patients to their rooms, administer other inhumane treatment, or threaten such treatment.
  • Physical changes—unexplained bruises, sudden changes in energy level or cognitive abilities, weight loss, and dehydration without medical explanation can all indicate a lack of care. Nursing home staff are responsible for making sure patients eat and drink enough, receive the proper type and dose of medication, and are not roughly handled.
  • Falls—sadly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1,800 nursing home residents die annually from fall-related injuries. Falls can occur when bed rails are not installed, staff get distracted when following a patient using a walker, or they fail to respond to alarms that indicate high-risk individuals are trying to get out of bed.

If your loved ones tell you things about their care that are troubling, or you have a sense that something isn't right based on your observations, it's best to contact an experienced attorney promptly. Our attorneys can help investigate your concerns and inform you of the best options for ensuring that your loved one's rights are protected. If abuse or neglect is present, your family member is entitled to compensation for the injuries and harm they have suffered as a result of nursing home negligence.

Mark W. Smith and his team of reputed Attorneys and Non-Attorney Disability Advocates are well-qualified with valuable experience in their field. No matter how complicated your situation might seem, an attorney from our office will examine every aspect and develop a sound plan that addresses your own unique legal needs. We are conveniently located in Metairie, LA, thus having good coverage in the greater New Orleans and throughout Southeastern LA. Please feel free to call us at 504-224-8388 or contact us via our website to schedule a free initial consultation.