5 common nursing home injuries that could signal abuse

When you put your mom in a nursing home, you wanted what was best for her. You wanted her to get the extra care she needed and to have qualified staff helping her. However, nursing home staff sometimes neglect patients, causing existing injuries to worsen. Or staff get angry with patients, abusing them and causing injuries.

Some of the most common nursing home injuries also can be signs of abuse or neglect. Here are five injuries to watch out for as you monitor your loved one’s care:

  1. Bedsores. Up to 28% of nursing home residents suffer from bedsores, according to the CDC. If your mom has a bedsore that keeps worsening or isn’t healing, that could be a sign nursing home staff aren’t turning her enough or helping her to sit up enough.
  2. Bedrail injuries. Bedrails can cause a nursing home patient to suffocate if the patient is trapped between one and a bed. Or a nursing home patient can suffer a leg or arm injury if their appendage is stuck in a bedrail. Nursing home staff should be supervising any patient who needs a bedrail closely to avoid these injuries.
  3. Falls. Falls are common among nursing home residents. However, nursing homes are supposed to help prevent residents from falling. Bathrooms should have grab bars installed and patients should be monitored if medication makes them dizzy. Nursing staff also should encourage and help residents walk around, to keep residents’ muscles strong.
  4. Bruises, sprains or broken bones. If your mom suffers unexplained bruises, sprains or broken bones, that can be a sign of abuse. Nursing homes are supposed to investigate if a resident has a serious unexplained injury, to ensure abuse isn’t occurring.
  5. Infections. Nursing staff need to be on the lookout for infections and help prevent them. If residents are living in unsanitary conditions, an infection can happen easily. If nursing home staff don’t diagnose a urinary tract infection quickly, a nursing home patient could get sepsis and need hospitalization.

If you suspect an injury your loved one suffered is the result of nursing home neglect or abuse, you need to consult with an elder law or personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you hold your loved one’s nursing home accountable and improve their standards of care.

One of the most important factors you’ll have to monitor when you place your mom or dad in a nursing home is if they are getting quality care. You’ll need to watch for injuries that could be signs of neglect or abuse.

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