Nursing home abuse has unfortunately become an increasingly prevalent topic in recent years. However, nursing home neglect, which is more common and less talked about, can also cause horrific injuries including death. Neglect can take numerous forms including but not limited to:
- · Failure to Answer Call Lights and/or Bed Alarms
- · Failure to Provide Proper Nutrition and/or Hydration
- · Unexplained Weight Loss
- · Failure to Provide and/or Assist with Personal Hygiene
- · Failure to Provide Proper Toileting Assistance (i.e., Leaving Residents in Soiled Clothing)
- · Failure to Properly Turn a Resident Resulting in Bed Sores
- · Failure to Timely Treat Medical Conditions
- · Failure to Properly Administer Medications
- · Recurrent Infections
- · Failure to Take Appropriate Actions to Prevent Falls and Injuries
- · Failure to Properly Address Resident Complaints and/or Concerns
Nursing Home neglect is often the result of understaffing. When the Nursing Home is understaffed, the employees are unable to provide adequate and proper care to all residents. Additionally, nursing homes often employ unqualified and improperly trained employees who are inappropriately supervised. These employees may not know the signs of malnutrition or dehydration or to regularly turn an immobile resident to prevent life threatening bed sores. Regardless of why the neglect occurs, neglect is illegal and actionable.
Family members and loved ones of a nursing home resident should be alert to any signs of neglect. Often signs of neglect may be more difficult to detect. However, it is important to make sure that resident knows they have rights and that they should not be afraid to report any instances of neglect. If the resident is unable to communicate for themselves, then extra vigilance must be paid to ensure that the resident is not silently suffering. As always, if you suspect nursing home neglect you should report it to the nursing home administrator as well as the state department of health (or the agency in your state with oversight of nursing homes). If you or your loved one has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact a lawyer to ensure that the nursing home is held responsible.