We put thought and consideration into where our family members can live a full and healthy life as they age. Of course, family members expect the best care for their loved ones. However, that is not always the case.
Nursing home neglect happens more than it should in the United States. It happens when residents do not get the proper care they deserve. It can result in physical and mental harm that can last the rest of their lives or even cause death.
Neglect vs. Abuse
The majority of nursing homes respect their residents and give them quality care that meets their basic needs. The failure to provide that care is negligence. The first step you need to take is to report that behavior to a trusted staff member or report the situation to an elder care agency.
You may want to consult with a Maryland nursing home lawyer to pursue action and compensation. You can get a free and full consultation to determine if you are eligible.
The term nursing home abuse creates images of physical harm that leaves marks. However, neglect is still abuse and might not have outward signs.
Accidents happen, too. For example, giving a resident the wrong medication or an incorrect dose can cause damage. However, even accidents can qualify as neglect.
The Root of Nursing Home Neglect
One of the number reasons that nursing home neglect happens is understaffing. As a result, nurses, doctors, and caregivers become overworked and stressed out. The burnout they experience hinders their ability to provide quality care.
Improper training plays a factor, too. Impossible workloads create a ripe environment for mistakes and neglect.
Sometimes nursing homes hire people without doing the proper background checks. The failure to vet a staff member is risky and can lead to abuse and neglect by the individual.
Understanding Types of Nursing Home Neglect
The basis of nursing home neglect is the failure to provide quality healthcare. It can include a variety of things.
- Failure to administer medication – as needed or at the proper dosage
- Inadequate medical care for pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or Alzheimer’s
- Ignoring mobility issues with residents that lead to bedsores
- Failure to report health issues like infections and illness to nurses or doctors
Physically abuse and neglect are not the only trauma a senior can experience in a nursing home. We trust that our family members are in a safe place where social interaction is part of their life. However, that is not always the case.
- Isolating residents either on purpose or on accident
- Failure to provide walking aids such as wheelchairs and walkers
- Forgetting to move seniors with mobility problems and severe mental health issues
Hygiene falls into both mental and physical neglect. It is not only about basic needs. It reflects a resident’s quality of life. We want the best for our family members, and that means ensuring they are healthy, happy, and maintain self-respect.
- Not changing a resident’s clothes regularly
- Failure to change bedding or clothing after accidents
- Unclean living environment or nursing facility
- Neglecting to bathe senior regularly or properly
- Serving unsafe food and drink
The Red Flags of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect have warning signs that come in different ways. If your family member is a resident at a facility, it is a good idea to know beforehand what to look for to keep them safe.
The red flags of neglect include:
- Unexplained injuries, including bruises
- All types of burns
- Sudden loss of weight
- Poor sleep quality
- Any untreated illness
- Poor personal hygiene
- Sudden change in mood and behavior
Understanding Your Rights
Nursing home neglect is traumatizing for everyone and can lead to death. Seeking compensation is your right. It is not only about the money. It is about holding them accountable for their actions and forcing the facility to improve their standard of care.[adsense]
You have other avenues to report the nursing home and staff members so that they get held responsible by the government, too.
Most nursing home attorneys do case reviews at no charge. They will decide if you are eligible and then work tirelessly to seek compensation and justice for you and your family member.
The compensation goes a long way to covering medical costs and other expenses. The justice helps to ensure it never happens again. Contact a nursing home attorney today to discuss your rights. You want a trusted professional on your side.