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How do you spot the signs of care home neglect and abuse?

With the advances in medical technology, people are living longer resulting in an aging population. Many of us will therefore at some point have dealings with care homes, whether receiving care ourselves or taking the difficult decision to place a much-loved relative in a home. Making the choice to use a care home often means that the individual is unable to look after themselves. Care home residents are often extremely vulnerable.

Through long experience of acting for Clients in care homes. We have identified the following signs that the care may not be ideal:

Pressure ulcers – With advances in technology and simple measures, such as regular repositioning, 95% of pressure ulcers are avoidable. Therefore they may be the result of negligent care.

Malnourishment and dehydration – this can happen if carers do not help their patients to eat and drink or place food and drink out of reach.

Failure to administer medication – Again this may happen if the patient is unable to administer it themselves or it is placed out of reach. If the patient is unable to take their prescribed medication, this can have devastating effects.

Bruises – bruising can be the result of poor moving and handling, or something more sinister.

Signs of fearfulness – sometimes the least visual abuse can take the form of carers shouting and threatening their patients which may result in changes in your relative’s behaviour.

There are very many good care homes were loved ones are extremely well looked after and cared for. However, if staff are poorly trained and supervised then bad practice can happen and it’s useful to be able to recognise signs of neglect and ill-treatment. By doing this we will be able to ensure that all care homes achieve the exacting standards expected when they look after vulnerable people.

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