By Dan Makled on October 22nd, 2020 in
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home neglect is a form of elder abuse committed against the elderly who live in nursing homes or other types of assisted living facilities. Neglect involves failure to provide for the person’s basic needs or ensure their safety. Examples of nursing home neglect include:
- Leaving an elderly person with mobility issues in their bed or wheelchair for hours at a time. This can lead to severe bed sores that may become infected.
- Failure to keep the residents clean. This can include failure to change bedding regularly and failure to ensure the resident is bathed regularly and has clean clothes to wear
- A lack of sufficient food and water leads to malnutrition and dehydration
- Failure to ensure the resident takes medication as prescribed by their doctor
How Does Nursing Home Neglect Differ from Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is an intentional act that harms the resident. When abuse is present, it means that the actions of the person against the resident were so reckless that the individual would have known their actions would likely result in harm. Nursing home abuse includes physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse. Kicking, hitting, pinching, slapping, and shoving are all physical forms of nursing home abuse.
Intimidation or threats made against a nursing home resident, forceful transfers, or rough handling of a senior are all forms of nursing home abuse. Nursing home neglect, on the other hand, is defined as withholding basic needs that the resident requires for their health, safety, or well-being. While nursing home abuse is intentional, nursing home neglect is accidental or negligent.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?
Some of the most common signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Loved ones notice the resident suddenly has poor personal hygiene. This can mean the resident needs assistance in getting dressed, bathing, combing their hair, and brushing their teeth, yet they are not receiving that assistance. They are being left on their own to perform these tasks, and they are simply not capable of doing so. The hygiene neglect may be intentional (lazy employees) or can be the result of too many residents and not enough employees.
- Overall unsanitary living conditions. Nursing home residents are entitled to have safe, clean, living conditions. If you notice that the living conditions are unsanitary, this could mean your loved one is being neglected. Under federal law, nursing homes must establish and maintain an infection control program that provides a sanitary, comfortable environment for residents. Security measures must also be in place to prevent residents from wandering away or ending up in an unsafe situation. Clean clothing and bedding, as well as clean bathroom and kitchen areas, are critical for the health of the residents.
- Malnutrition and dehydration are signs of neglect as well. Many elderly residents need assistance eating and drinking. When they do not receive this assistance, their health can suffer. Some information points to the fact that at least 20 percent of all nursing home residents have some level of malnutrition or dehydration.
- Lack of mobility is a challenge for nursing home residents. Good nursing home staff will ensure the residents move and remain as active as possible through exercise or walking programs. Leaving residents in their beds or wheelchairs for long periods of time can be a risk to a resident’s mobility. Without regular movement, other health issues can occur, including bedsores and infections.
- If you notice unexplained injuries, including broken bones, bruises, or injuries from restraints, you should consider neglect. When the elderly fail to receive the help they need, they may attempt to do things for themselves and can end up falling and hurting themselves. Some nursing home staff may restrain residents as a means of keeping them immobile.
- If you suddenly notice emotional issues in your loved one, there may be neglect. If your loved one seems afraid of their caretakers, reluctant to talk about the issues, or seems distant from their loved ones, they may be suffering from neglect that has caused depression.
What Should I Do if I See Signs of neglect?
If you notice signs of nursing home neglect or abuse, it is imperative that you act immediately. The first thing you should do is contact an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer who can help you determine what steps to take next. While it can be very difficult, try to remain calm as you and your attorney seek a resolution to the situation. Before taking further action, you might want to speak to the administrator of the nursing home or the staff.
Speak to your loved one privately, although he or she may be afraid to tell you of the abuse or neglect if they have been threatened. If there is clear abuse or imminent danger, notify the police immediately and file a complaint. Report suspected elder abuse or neglect to the National Center on Elder Abuse or to the department of protective services for adults in your state. Your loved one is entitled to your protection and may also be entitled to compensation under the law. Depending on your relationship to the resident, you may also be entitled to compensation.
How Can Attorney from the Dan Makled Law Firm Help?
Finding out your loved one has suffered nursing home neglect is a devastating blow. You believe your loved one will be well-taken care of and finding out they’ve suffered can be overwhelming. You need a fierce advocate in your corner who will never hesitate to take on the nursing home, fighting for you and your loved one. The Dan Makled Law Firm has achieved multi-million-dollar results for its clients on multiple occasions.
Just as importantly, we strive to build strong relationships with our clients. We will take the time to learn about you and your situation on a deeper level, providing a safe space where you can be honest with us, and asking any questions you may have regarding your case. We are committed to responding to our clients within twenty-four hours and believe strongly in transparency and accountability. Contact the Dan Makled Law Firm today for assistance with your nursing home neglect case.