Unlike nursing home abuse in which people intentionally harm vulnerable adults, nursing home neglect causes harm to residents by failing to provide them with the care they need. Although nursing home staff members may not intend to neglect nursing home residents, substandard care or a breach of necessary duties does still cause physical harm to the resident.
If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, it is important that you understand the types of neglect and know what warning signs to look for. Then, contact a nursing home neglect lawyer to learn about how we can help you.
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Types of Neglect in Nursing Homes
Elderly individuals are often unable to fully communicate to loved ones about the care they are receiving. Even if elderly individuals are not cognitively impaired, they may be afraid to talk about what is happening to them. They may feel ashamed or embarrassed. Nursing home neglect victims may feel that they do not have any rights or options to change their situation.
Nursing home neglect comes in a variety of forms and is different in each individual case. The four most common types of nursing home neglect include the following:
Families often send elderly loved ones to nursing homes so that they can receive the medical care they need. However, due to factors such as understaffing, high turnover rates, overworked caregivers or a lack of proper guidelines, many nursing homes do not provide proper medical attention or prevention to nursing home residents.
As a result, residents may suffer from:
- Bedsores due to being left in the same position for too long
- Untreated cuts or injuries caused by falls or other accidents
- Illness that causes harm because of lack of prompt medical attention
- Not receiving medications at the proper intervals
Basic Needs Neglect
Many families have to send loved ones to a nursing home because the family is not capable of providing the level of care the elderly individual needs. However, sometimes these basic needs are not met.
Tragically, some nursing home residents do not receive adequate nutrition and hydration, which can cause them to suffer illnesses and be more susceptible to serious harm if they get sick. Basic needs neglect also arises when a nursing home resident is not provided a safe and clean environment.
Personal Hygiene Neglect
Personal hygiene neglect occurs when a nursing home resident does not receive sufficient assistance with laundry, cleaning, bathing, brushing teeth or other personal hygiene practices. Because older people may have difficulty maintaining their hygiene on their own, it is important that nursing home staff help the residents maintain personal cleanliness.
Emotional neglect is difficult to detect because it is often not observable like other types of neglect. Nursing home residents who suffer from emotional neglect may not show obvious symptoms.
This type of neglect can make nursing home residents feel isolated and lonely. Overworked staff members may not be friendly toward residents who need social interaction. Emotionally neglected residents may be ignored, left alone or yelled at by a stressed caregiver.
Warning Signs of Neglect
Loved ones must stay involved in the lives of nursing home residents in order to observe signs of nursing home neglect and promptly put an end to it. Some signs are subtle while others are more obvious.
Some signs of neglect can include:
- Unexpected weight loss or gain
- Multiple falls
- Frequent illnesses
- Decline in personal hygiene
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Loss or lack of mobility
- Unexplained injuries
- Social withdrawal from favorite activities or people
- Fearful, angry or resentful behavior toward staff or others
- Lack of friendly interaction with other nursing home residents or staff
- Environmental hazards like slippery floors and unsafe wheelchairs
If you have observed any of these signs, it is important that you contact a nursing home neglect lawyer for assistance and to learn about your legal options.
Get Legal Assistance
If you suspect that your elderly relative is being neglected in a nursing home, it is in his or her best interest that you take prompt action to end this treatment. Your loved one needs a legal advocate who can pursue justice on his or her behalf.
Our experienced nursing home neglect lawyers can explain the legal options that are available in your situation. We help injury victims recover compensation for the pain and suffering that they have endured, and we can put our years of experience to work on your case as well.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your claim in a confidential manner. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we are not paid unless we are able to help your loved one obtain compensation for what he or she has suffered.