When people place their family members in nursing homes, they expect them to receive competent, quality care. They don’t expect them to be neglected. Unfortunately, it happens more frequently than you may think.
For example, the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) reported that abuse-related complaints were filed by approximately 10,000 nursing home residents in 2013 alone. Similar statistics have been reported for neglect.
If you believe your loved one has experienced neglect in a nursing home, you should contact the team at Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers for help.
If you’re wondering what constitutes neglect in a nursing home, the following information should be helpful.
While the term “neglect” may not appear as severe as “abuse”, it still comes with serious consequences. One of the most common types of neglect in a nursing home is medical neglect. This may include failing to reposition residents with limited mobility (a common cause of pressure injuries (“bed sores”)), failing to recognize and respond to signs of infection or illness, or failing to administer medications. Each of these examples can cause severe harm, including death.
Other types of neglect include emotional neglect and neglecting a resident’s hygiene, which creates a serious dignity issue.
Not all neglect is obvious. Here are some of the warning signs which may suggest that the nursing home is not taking proper care of your loved one:
sudden, unexplained weight loss
unexplained bruises or injury
sudden, unexplained changes in mood or behavior
falls – with or without fractures
Nursing home neglect may negatively affect a person’s physical and emotional health. Failure to monitor a resident’s status, or ensure they eat properly, may result in malnutrition, dehydration or anemia. Other heath issues which may develop in victims of neglect include severe fatigue, dental problems, worsening blood pressure or diabetic status, depression, anxiety, sleep loss and other mental health issues.
Many people can’t imagine why nursing home staff members would subject residents to neglect. However, it happens.
One of the most common causes is understaffing. When a nursing home fails to employ enough nurses and aides, the staff members who are there are overwhelmed. Nursing staff members in this situation may be very caring people and yet simply have too many residents assigned to them. The result is neglect despite good intentions. Over time, staff members may eventually suffer burnout and stop taking care of residents as well as they should. And, unfortunately, some nurses and aides are simply not a good fit — in terms of personality or medical knowledge — for a nursing home, and may lack the skill or patience it takes to deliver quality care in this setting.
If your family member has suffered harm due to nursing home neglect, schedule a consultation with a caring lawyer from Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers as soon as possible. We are here to help.