Many elderly people in Pittsburgh are currently transitioning to new lifestyles, some of whom are in need of assisted living care. If you're an adult child currently researching Pennsylvania nursing homes because your aging parent is no longer able to live in an independent environment, you may be worried about finding a place that is equipped to handle your parent's needs.
Sadly, nursing home abuse is problematic in many areas. While it is helpful to check the backgrounds of nursing facilities you're considering, it doesn't always give you all of the information you need to ensure your loved one's safety and well-being. There are signs you can watch for when visiting your loved one in a nursing home that can alert you to a possible abuse problem.
Are the facility and your loved one's room clean and tidy?
You can gauge quality of care by several factors, including how well kept your parent's nursing home is, especially his or her individual space. If the general appearance of the building is clean and pleasant-looking, it's a good sign. If there's an unpleasant stench or you see filth, it is definitely something to bring to the administration's attention.
Is your parent hungry or thirsty all the time?
Dehydration and malnutrition are serious forms of neglect and a staff member may use food and drink as tools of manipulation to abuse a patient. A lot of older people have trouble with their diets; however, barring any specific health impediment, your parent should be well fed and properly hydrated at all times.
Physical marks on the body
If you visit your mother or father and notice bruises, cuts, rashes or other bodily marks, it is always best to seek an immediate explanation. If you're not satisfied with the answer your parent or a nursing home official gives you, it may warrant further investigation.
Especially if your loved one has a mental or physical disability, staff members should provide proper supervision to help him or her stay safe. If you show up unannounced and you find your family member sitting in a wheelchair outdoors, all alone, it's a problem and may be a sign of neglect.
Trust your instincts
Perhaps your loved one gets nervous or irritated when a particular staff member is around. This may be a sign of abuse as well. If you feel uncomfortable or worried about any aspect of your parent's nursing home care, you can be proactive by requesting a meeting with administrators to discuss the situation.
If your loved one suffers injury at the hands of care providers, it is understandable that you would want to seek justice. There are already strong support systems in place to address such matters. By tapping into local resources, you can protect your parent's personal rights and possibly prevent others from suffering similar abuse in the future.