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Safeguarding a loved one by identifying and responding to neglect

There is a multitude of circumstances in which an individual can become incapable of caring for him or herself. If you have a loved one who suffers from a medical condition that requires constant monitoring and treatment, you might not be able to provide the care he or she needs.

Perhaps you have chosen to entrust the care of your loved one to a nursing home. Although the facility you pick will likely boast of an ability to provide the necessary care, you may have concerns about your loved one's safety and wish to know how to spot the signs of negligent treatment.

Neglect in a care facility

Patients in nursing homes may suffer from a variety of conditions and often rely on others to provide a certain standard of care. However, patients don't always receive the necessary treatment, and many suffer as a result. When visiting your loved one, some signs that you can watch out for that may indicate the presence of negligence might include the following:

  • Personal hygiene:  Patients in nursing homes often rely on others to clean and dress them, and if they do not receive help in these areas, their hygiene may suffer. If these issues persist, their conditions may worsen, or they may even develop new medical issues.
  • Poor nutrition:  Lack of nutrition is another sign of neglect and can be extremely harmful. If a patient doesn't receive the proper assistance, he or she can suffer from various issues, such as dehydration, which can prove devastating.
  • Changes in mobility:  If your loved one shows a significant reduction in mobility, he or she may not be moving around or exercising enough. Many patients require aid in this area and often suffer if left to lie in bed for extended periods.
  • Physical or mental harm:  In some cases, a patient may also be subjected to abuse. Whether physical, mental or both, abuse can be extremely harmful, and some signs may include unexplained injuries, depression or anxiety.

In some cases, a patient may also suffer due to unclean or unsafe living conditions, which can be exceedingly harmful especially for those with serious medical conditions. Regardless of what form it takes, if negligence harms your loved one, you may wish to pursue restitution, but the process can be complex.

Pursuing restitution

No one should have to suffer due to nursing home negligence, and if someone close to you is experiencing harm at the hands of a medical professional or facility, you might wish to seek accountability through the civil justice system. However, you may feel somewhat intimidated by the process, and seeking guidance from someone with extensive knowledge in Pennsylvania state laws surrounding the situation could be in your best interests. By obtaining guidance, you could become better prepared to pursue the compensation deserved through whatever means necessary.

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