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What are Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on August 16, 2011

One type of nursing home abuse that does not get as much attention as it should is Arizona nursing home neglect. Abusive nursing home personnel may neglect the basic needs, personal hygiene and medical needs of residents, resulting in serious physical and emotional harm. Family members and friends should look out for signs of neglect each time they visit their loved ones.

Basic Needs

Nursing home residents have several basic needs, most notably food, water and a safe environment. Several signs indicate that staff members are not meeting these basic needs. Some of these include:

  • Your loved one complains of hunger or thirst frequently
  • Reported safety hazards are not repaired in a timely manner
  • Your loved one’s water pitcher is empty when you visit
  • Meal portions are too small to satisfy basic caloric requirements

Personal Hygiene

Nursing home residents often need help caring for their personal hygiene. Reduced mobility makes it difficult for them to brush their teeth, bathe, wash and brush their hair and carry out other hygiene tasks. Look for signs that staff members are not helping your loved one with these functions:

  • Dirty, tangled or disheveled hair
  • Frequent bad breath (halitosis)
  • Body odor
  • Stained teeth or dentures

Medical Needs

Nursing home staff members should respond quickly to any medical problems that arise. If nursing home employees do not properly care for residents, several complications can occur. Keep an eye out for signs of medical neglect:

  • Frequent infections
  • Pressure sores
  • Untreated medical problems
  • Broken bones or fractures

Nursing home residents deserve respect and compassion. When a staff member does something wrong, the nursing home needs to be held accountable. This prevents additional abuse and helps other residents avoid the neglectful behavior of that staff member.

If you suspect that a loved one has experienced neglect at an Arizona nursing home, please call us for a free consultation. One of our Phoenix nursing home neglect lawyers is certified in personal injury and wrongful death law by the Arizona State Bar, an honor given to less than two percent of the lawyers in Arizona. Our Arizona certified personal injury specialist has the experience needed to advise you on how to proceed with a potential nursing home neglect claim.

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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer