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Be on the lookout for signs of improper care when visiting nursing homes

Visiting by family members or other loved ones in nursing homes generally increases during the holiday season. It is a great idea to not only visit often, but to visit at different times of day and days of week. It is also very important to be on the look out for warning signs of abuse or neglect when visiting a loved one in a nursing home or long term care facility.

Studies have concluded that one in three residents suffers from neglect when living in a nursing home. Some common warning signs of abuse, neglect, negligence or inadequate care in a nursing home include:

Marked emotional or physical changes

Unanswered or deflected questions

Frantic, discordant, or inadequate staff

High staff turnover

"I don't want so-and-so to care for me"

Constantly ringing phones and unanswered call lights.

A bad feeling.

Unexplained bruises, welts, scratches or other injuries Broken bones or other serious injuries Swelling of the ankles and wrists often coupled with bruising Bed sores (a/k/a Pressure Sores or Decubitus Ulcers), particularly on the buttocks, heels, shoulders, or elbows Dehydration and/or malnutrition Unexplained weight loss Changes in loved one’s mental state that isn’t a symptom of their disease Isolation of your loved one from visitors Belittling, insulting, humiliation or threats by a caregiver Contracture – your loved one’s muscles have remained in one place so long they freeze or “contract” in a particular position Unclean surroundings such as floors, walls, doors, sinks, or toilets Filthy facility conditions such as evidence of vermin, mold, excess dust, or debris Untreated wounds Your loved one is left in soiled clothing or undergarments Signs of facility infestations such as the presence of ants, roaches, maggots, or bed bugs

Bedsores indicating the resident is left alone for extended stretches of time may appear when they are in the same place such as a chair or bed.

Broken bones, welts, scratches or burns are present that may show direct bodily mishandling

Accidents or falls that arise through improper assistance or restricted access to the areas they should be able to travel.

Unexpected alterations in behavior, strange behavior from nursing home staff or medical health professionals and prevention of access or limiting visitation to the occupant. Malnutrition and dehydration.

Frequent trips to emergency rooms, hospitals and other medical facilities.

If you, a family member or a friend have been injured due to the neglect of others in a New York nursing home, call Leitner Varughese at (855) LV LAW NY (855-585-2969), or visit our website at

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