Nursing Home Neglect

Neglect, next to battery and abuse, is the most common mistreatment many nursing homes are guilty of all over the United States. Neglect occurs every time a nursing home resident is put into risk due to deprivation of essential needs or lack of protection from any threats to that adult’s health or welfare.

Signs of neglect include, but are not limited to:

  • Disregard for daily care practices
  • Under-medication
  • Over-medication
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Bed-sores
  • Lack of caring for personal hygiene
  • Unsanitary room conditions
  • Failure to protect oneself from safety hazards
  • No access to medical services
  • Depression

All too often residents of nursing homes are left alone, ignored by staff or left to abusive staff. Sometimes, abusive residents are left unattended and exercise violence against other, unprotected residents. Occasionally staff falls asleep and leave residents to themselves.

Risk factors

Unfortunately there are many circumstances and risk factors that all come into play and make nursing home abuse even a possibility. Risk factors can be related to the employees, the overall condition of the facility itself, residents and family members. The more risk factors are harbored in relation to one specific nursing home facility, the greater the risk of abuse. Consider the following:

Employee risk factors

  • Substance abuse
  • Financial problems
  • Mental illness
  • Poorly trained
  • Excessive absenteeism
  • Power conflicts
  • Social isolation
  • History of family violence

Facility risk factors

 

  • High overtime demands
  • Inadequate/uninformed administrator response
  • Crowding
  • Frequent reorganization
  • Lack of staff training
  • Poor communication
  • Staff shortage
  • Poor building maintenance

Resident risk factors

  • Argumentative
  • Demanding
  • Substance abuse
  • Hostile
  • Passive aggressive
  • Mental illness
  • Intrusive
  • Manipulative

If you suspect or if you have witnessed abuse in a nursing home, you should seek medical attention immediately if the circumstances require it. Your next step should then be to contact the local police and other agencies in order to investigate the complaint. As criminal abuse of the elderly is not acceptable, you should also seek an attorney.

Attorneys specialized in nursing home abuse and neglect have experience in these type of cases and they know the legal rights of the nursing home resident. Not only can those rights be rectified and enforced, but at the same time, legal action can be taken against the nursing home and/or the abusive staff member particularly. While monetary damages for the abused can be claimed, a lawsuit with adequate consequences may also set an example for other care institutions, which may then save many others from nursing home abuse and neglect.

Have you or someone you know fallen victim to nursing home neglect? If so contact one of our nursing home neglect attorneys in your area today!

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