Neglect in Nursing Homes
Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
Nursing Home Neglect Described
Nursing home negligence can come in any shape or form, and may include deplorable actions like withholding medication, nutrition, hygienic care, exercise and other basic necessities. In addition to failing to provide an acceptable standard of care, by practicing elder neglect, nursing homes may even put the lives of their patients at risk. Failing to help mobile patients get out of bed can result in dangerous conditions like bed sores, and refusing to help elderly individuals bathe regularly can cause illness, disease or even death. Although neglect is considered a “passive” form of nursing home abuse, the resulting consequences can be just as devastating for patients as physical, psychological or sexual assault.
Types of Negligence in Nursing Homes
Similar to nursing home abuse, neglect in a nursing home facility can take the form of physical, emotional or medical negligence. Regardless of the type however, nursing home neglect can have life-threatening consequences for patients, especially those who are physically or mentally unable to alert others to the inadequate standard of care. The following is a description and some examples of physical, emotional and medical neglect in nursing homes.
When an elderly patient is physically neglected, he or she may be unable to maintain proper personal hygiene, which includes changing clothes, bathing, grooming, oral hygiene and general cleanliness. Malnutrition and dehydration are two major problems affecting elderly individuals in nursing homes, and may be due to the failure of staff members to provide residents with adequate food and water. Because elderly individuals typically have a weaker immune system and are more prone to illness and disease, the failure of a nursing home to provide a clean, safe environment may constitute physical nursing home neglect.
Just like any other person, nursing home residents require certain levels of emotional stimulation, human connection and participation in social situations in order to maintain their mental health. Unfortunately, emotional neglect is a serious issue in nursing homes, due in large part to factors like understaffing and overworked employees who aren’t interested in the overall mental health of their patients. As a result of emotional neglect, nursing home patients may exhibit extremely withdrawn behavior or depression, which can be devastating for elderly individuals.
Most nursing home residents have to take one or more medications throughout the day, and facility staff members are expected to cater to this simple need. In some cases, an elder’s medications may be necessary for survival, and when these needs aren’t met, the consequences under these circumstances can be deadly. Diabetes, for example, is one of the most common diseases affecting older Americans, and diabetic patients may require insulin on a daily basis to survive. If a patient is denied this critical medication, or if a patient develops bedsores or pressure sores after being left in one position for a long period of time, he or she may be the victim of medical neglect.
Contact a Qualified Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Today
Most families admit their loved ones to nursing homes only after much deliberation, finally determining that a facility is more equipped to attend to their elder’s daily physical, emotional, medical and psychological needs. Unfortunately, more and more elderly individuals in the United States are falling victim to devastating nursing home abuse or neglect. If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect, consult with a skilled nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Here at Consumer Justice Foundation, we understand how devastating it can be when the rights of your loved one are taken advantage of by a trusted caregiver. With the help of a qualified nursing home neglect attorney, you can protect the rights of your loved one and work to pursue the financial compensation he or she deserves for any injuries sustained because of nursing home negligence.