The elderly are one of the most vulnerable groups and require attentive and extensive care. Nursing homes, although meant to provide round-the-clock assistance to the elderly, can sometimes create an environment where elders face neglect. Recognizing the signs of nursing home neglect and filing the necessary claims needed to address these circumstances is essential for keeping these loved ones safe.
What Is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home neglect is a form of malpractice and abuse that affects the elderly staying in nursing homes. These instances are typically from a lack of fulfilled duties but can also be deliberate. Regardless of motive, in situations where negligence on behalf of nursing home staff results in injuries, illness, or death of nursing home residents, these situations constitute nursing home neglect.
How Is Negligence Proven?
Neglect can happen at a nursing home in a variety of ways and is considered any failure to provide a patient with the reasonably expected level of care. The nursing home staff is responsible for determining what care is required and delivering it, regardless of whether the person in charge of the patient’s care intentionally neglects the patient.
Improper hiring, short staffing in nursing homes, and improper training of staff can result in neglect and need to be evaluated when determining these situations. For example, one of the telltale signs of nursing home neglect is poor hygiene, and in understaffed homes, some residents can be forgotten if other patients need more serious assistance, leading to poor hygiene. On the other hand, poor hygiene can be the deliberate result of an improperly trained nurse handling multiple patients without using proper PPE and cleaning materials, causing infections, and missed actions.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect In Loved Ones
Nursing home neglect is not something that can be predicted or expected when putting a loved one in a long-term care facility. Frequent check-ins with loved ones, especially if they express discomfort about their stay, can be an initial warning sign that nursing home neglect is happening. Some of the telltale signs of nursing home neglect can include the following:
- Decreased Mobility: Nursing homes with multiple residents in wheelchairs or beds try to promote physicality, but a lack of willingness to engage in physical activity may be a sign of neglect
- Poor Hygiene: For those in nursing homes, specifically those on long-term bed rest, personal hygiene tasks like bathing require assistance, and the lack of assistance can generate poor hygiene
- Mood Changes: Abuse from staff can lead to an increase in contempt or fear of nursing home staff, and prolonged exposure to this abuse can lead to PTSD, anxiety, and depression, among other illnesses
- New or Random Injuries: Injuries either resulting from slips and falls or direct physical abuse from orderlies are all telltale signs of nursing home neglect, especially if these injuries are not addressed as they happen
Having frequent check-ins with loved ones living in nursing homes, regardless of any initial suspicions of neglect, can help when determining if the neglect they face begins. Pursuing legal action for this mistreatment can not only save a loved one’s life, but it can also help other families facing similar abuse patterns from the same institution get the peace of mind they deserve.
How To Begin The Claims Process For Nursing Home Neglect
As soon as any warning signs of nursing home neglect manifest in loved ones, contacting the authorities should be immediate. Treating any health conditions resulting from this neglect is also essential for helping curb any long-lasting or terminal effects of this abuse. Speaking to a nursing home abuse attorney can help when facing these situations, helping recover any damages resulting from this abuse. Lamar Law Office’s extensive legal team can help combat these instances of elder abuse, so contact us to begin filing a claim today.