As human beings, we don’t come with operations manuals. We learn as we go, and in some cases as we do. With aging grandparents and parents, we get our first exposure to end of life care. It’s not an easy subject, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the process. As an attorney, what I’ve learned is that safety and comfort are two of the most important things you must have for the elderly.
Nursing homes are the place many turn for their last residence. A nursing home is supposed to be a place of safety and comfort, with skilled personnel and quick access to nurses and doctors. However, in reality, many nursing homes operate with unskilled labor with only occasional access to medical professionals. Many are over populated and under staffed and under funded. That puts the health and well-being of the residents at risk.
But life in a nursing home is a different life. Simply being “unhappy” or lonely is not a sign of abuse. Medical evidence like bed sores or rashes are signals, as is obvious fear or constant complaints about the care. Listen to your loved one, and be aware of how the other patients appear to be.
1. It is not okay for a resident to be left alone for more than two hours in any one spot, especially in a room or hallway.
2. It is not okay for residents to be denied water or other liquids, whether by policy, accident, or on purpose. Many medications cause dry mouth and adequate hydration is essential.
3. It is not okay for a resident to be left sitting in urine or feces.
4. It is not okay to be threatened or yelled at by staff members.
If these actions are taking place, especially if they are combined with physical medical evidence of abuse or neglect, seek appropriate safety measures for your loved one and contact the law offices of David Van Sant.