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Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

By on May 05, 2010


Nursing home patients often are unable to tell you when they have been abused or neglected.  However, there are key signs of abuse and neglect that can alert family members that the patient is in danger.   Pressure ulcers are one of the most obvious signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.   They are most commonly found the buttocks and feet, but they can form on any part of the body that is exposed to direct pressure.   Pressure ulcers may initially appear as a reddened area but without pressure relief a blister or crater in the skin will form.   Pressure ulcers destroy the skin and muscle and may go as deep as the underlying bones.   Pressure ulcers are painful and require immediate medical treatment. Pressure ulcers can lead to life threatening infections. 

A second warning sign that a nursing home patient has been abused and neglected is unexplained weight loss. Nursing home patients often require assistance with eating and drinking. Even if they are able to feed themselves and drink without assistance, adequate nutrition must be provided by the nursing home. It is shocking how some nursing homes only spend a couple dollars a day in providing nutrition for their patients.  You can spend more on a cup of coffee at Starbucks than some nursing homes spend on food for each patient. 

In coming weeks, I will post more information about warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, so please come back to our website frequently.  We also welcome your comments on protecting nursing home patients.

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