Many Americans are spending their final years in nursing homes. They cannot take care of themselves in their own homes, and they may not have family members who can give them the round-the-clock care they need.
This means that more and more elderly patients are living in nursing homes. While there are some reputable nursing homes in the United States, many break the law and mistreat their elderly residents. They have received numerous citations for violations for serious cases of neglect and abuse.
Abuse is done intentionally. This often involves physical injuries and mental distress. Nursing home neglect is different, but also a serious issue in nursing homes across the country and one that can lead to great harm done to elderly residents.
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home neglect can occur in various ways. In many cases, it is done unintentionally. Nursing homes have a high rate of staff turnover. It is not uncommon for nursing staff to be poorly trained. Many homes have a high patient to staff ratio, which can be overwhelming. Staff members have a lot of responsibility, and they may forget to feed patients or give medications if not properly trained.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
There are several types of neglect commonly found in nursing homes that loved ones should be aware of.
One is medical neglect. This refers to staff neglecting to give a patient medication or assisting with other health needs. For example, not providing a patient with required medical care is a form of medical neglect. So is not allowing a patient to exercise or perform physical therapy.
Neglect of Basic Needs
Also common is the neglect of basic needs. This includes not feeding or bathing a patient frequently enough. Not allowing a patient to use the bathroom or not changing the diaper of an incontinent patient is also neglect. Refusing to dress a patient or comb his or her hair is also a form of neglect of basic needs.
Social/emotional neglect can also occur in a nursing home environment. This may include a patient being ignored or being unable to express his or her feelings. The patient may be left alone and not allowed to engage with others for long periods of time.
What to Look Out for: Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
If you think your loved one is being neglected, look for the following signs:
- Increased sleepiness or confusion
- Lack of interest in favorite activities
- Sudden incontinence
- Loss of mobility
- Poor personal hygiene
- Unexplained injuries
- Dry or cracked lips or mouth
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Agitation or anxiety
Work With an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
More and more people are living longer, making nursing home neglect and abuse a growing issue across the country. Neglect may happen on purpose or unintentionally. In any case, it can lead to malnutrition, which can lead to worsened medical conditions and even death.
If your loved one suffered from neglect in a nursing home, it is important that you seek legal help. Contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. They can assess your case and hold the nursing home liable for its lack of care. Schedule your free consultation by calling our office at 718-596-7800.