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Beyond just refraining from intentional abuse, staff members of North Carolina nursing homes have a duty of care to provide to meet the basic physical, emotional, medical, and hygienic needs of every resident in their facility. Any failure to do so, whether through negligence or intentional mistreatment, may be considered grounds for civil litigation.

In order to ensure your loved one is safe and well-cared for in their nursing home, it is important to be aware of what potential symptoms and behaviors that may indicate maltreatment by nursing home staff or administrators. If you notice any possible signs of nursing home neglect in Durham, a qualified attorney could help you take effective action to protect your family member and seek compensation from those responsible for their condition.

What are the Symptoms of Nursing Home Neglect?

One of the most important ways in which nursing home neglect differs from nursing home abuse is that neglect is often unintentional. This means that injuries a resident may suffer due to neglect often come from accidents and unsanitary conditions that nursing home staff members reasonably should have prevented, rather than physical or verbal assaults they purposefully committed.

In light of this, family members looking to prevent neglect in a Durham nursing home should be on the lookout for injuries that indicate a lack of attention and proper care, such as bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, and fractures and other injuries stemming from falls. In many cases, infections can be a sign of nursing home neglect, especially if they happen frequently and are not treated promptly when they do occur.

While unavoidable accidents sometimes do happen even in the best nursing homes, any injury without a satisfactory explanation may be a sign of neglect to follow up on. Anyone with suspicions about their loved one’s care can contact a nursing home neglect attorney to discuss their concerns and what action they could take to address them.

Potential Psychological and Behavioral Changes Seen

In some cases, nursing home neglect may have primarily psychological effects rather than physical ones. For example, if a nursing home resident suddenly becomes withdrawn, non-communicative, or quick to be agitated, it may be a sign that they are being denied appropriate socialization by the staff members responsible for their case, or that their needs are not being met in some other way.

Any unusual change in behavior—like rocking back and forth, a fear of being touched, or nervous nail-biting—may also be a sign that a Durham nursing home resident is suffering from neglect or even abuse. Depending on the circumstances, strangely subdued behavior may also be a sign of neglect, as it could indicate unreasonable or unnecessary use of chemical sedatives to restrain a resident and keep them from complaining.

Unfortunately, emotional symptoms of neglect are often hard to positively identify, particularly if a resident already has trouble communicating on a normal basis. Experienced nursing home abuse lawyers may be able to help recognize signs of neglect with greater confidence and take appropriate action if they are present.

An Attorney Could Help Address Signs of Durham Nursing Home Neglect

No one wants to imagine that their loved one might be neglected in any way at the facility entrusted with their care, but unfortunately, nursing home neglect is a reality for all too many families in North Carolina. Even if you only suspect neglect but cannot affirmatively prove it, it may be a good idea to take action if you have any concerns whatsoever about the safety of your elderly family member.

A qualified lawyer could help you identify and remedy signs of nursing home neglect in Durham. To set up a private consultation and discuss your loved one’s condition, call today.