If you have considered putting an ailing loved one in a nursing home, you may want to think twice. Although nursing homes are expensive and you probably assume your loved one will get excellent care for the money, that may not always be the case.
Abuse and neglect in nursing homes is rampant. Statistics show that 33% of seniors in skilled nursing facilities experienced adverse events that cause them harm. Most include bleeding due to medication errors, falls, trauma, infections, kidney injuries, and pressure sores. Most of these issues occur in nursing homes due to inadequate treatment, lack of care, and understaffing. It is believed that 85% of nursing facilities have at least one report of neglect or abuse.
When nursing homes and families work together, nursing home neglect can be prevented. Here are some signs to look for and ways to prevent such neglect and keep patients safe and healthy.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
If you are a family member of a nursing home patient, be aware of these signs of neglect:
- Pressure sores or bed sores
- Rapid weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Unsanitary conditions
- Changes in behavior
- Open wounds, cuts, bruises, or other unexplained injuries
Preventing Nursing Home Neglect
The best thing nursing homes can do is make sure patients are being treated by experienced, well-trained staff members. All too often, nursing homes try to save money by not doing background checks or not taking the time to properly train staff. Training, along with adequate staffing, can ensure that patients get the care they need.
Falls and suffocation from the bed are two serious events that can happen suddenly in nursing homes. That is why nursing homes should thoroughly evaluate patients and determine which ones have mobility issues. These patients should have assistance available as needed. They should also be checked on frequently.
Safety and sanitary issues are also a concern. Nursing home residents who are immobile should be turned frequently to prevent bedsores. For safety reasons, mattresses should be flush with the bed frame or rails to prevent suffocation.
Patients should be checked often for changes to mental and physical health. Any medical concerns should be promptly addressed.
Family members can do their part, as well. They should visit their loved ones frequently and note any changes in appearance or health. Those with concerns should discuss them with nursing home staff. By taking an active role in maintaining their loved one’s health and dignity, they can prevent neglect and abuse from occurring.
Work With an Experienced Nursing Home Negligence Attorney
Sadly, your loved one may not be receiving the best care in their nursing home. Neglect can lead to falls, broken bones, serious medical conditions and even death.
The nursing home negligence lawyers at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. can assess your case and help you obtain justice. We can let you have your day in court so you can hold the nursing home liable. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office by filling out the online form or calling 718-596-7800.