Recognizing nursing home neglect is no easy task. Nursing home neglect is caused by a variety of reasons and takes the form of many injuries. So let’s pin down the easy stuff first.
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Neglect vs. Abuse vs. Negligence
Abuse is intentional wrongdoing. Negligence is failing to do what a reasonable nurse would do in the same circumstance. But what is nursing home neglect?
Nursing home neglect is generally defined as the failure to provide care, treatment, medication or services needed by a nursing home resident.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Defining nursing home neglect is easier than recognizing it. Because the average nursing home resident is frail and unable to advocate for themselves, they cannot voice concern for the treatment they are receiving. This is why it is crucial that family members of the resident monitor them for tell-tale signs of bad nursing home care.
Nursing home neglect manifests its ugly head in the following injuries:
Patient falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in older Americans. Nursing homes are required by law to prevent falls and failing to do so may be considered nursing home neglect.
Just about every nursing home resident is on medication. Usually, multiple prescriptions are given to the resident at one time. This is done at set times by a Med Tech who passes out medications in a wheeled cart in the facility. Failing to properly administer medications or overdosing meds is a form of nursing home medication mistakes, which is clear-cut neglect.
Pressure ulcers, also referred to as bed sores, are an indicator of nursing home neglect. If an immobilized patient is not moved, they will develop bedsores.
Significant Weight Loss
Losing weight is typical in a nursing home. However, significant weight loss of 10% of more of a resident’s total weight, may indicate nursing home neglect. Dehydration and malnutrition of nursing home residents can cause serious neurological damage.
An unexplained and sudden passing of your loved one may be due to nursing home neglect. See if the county medical examiner will perform an investigation following a suspicious death. You can also contact our Boynton Beach wrongful death lawyers to investigate the matter.
Causes of Nursing Home Neglect
Lack of Staff
What is the most expensive cost on every nursing home corporation’s budget? Staff.
What is the first thing to get cut when the corporation wants to make more money? Staff.
Who is entrusted with protecting, serving and assisting your vulnerable loved one in the nursing home? Staff.
Oftentimes, we see skeleton staff numbers in the nursing home, causing widespread neglect. To add insult to injury, many of the nurses and aides are poorly trained on nursing home policies and procedures. This means if the day shift is using technique A to prevent falls, and the night shift uses technique B, we have inconsistencies in the care plan. This can result in nursing home neglect.
The people that work at the nursing home matter. It is more than just having 3 CNAs on the floor at one time. The 3 CNAs working the floor must genuinely care for the residents. If a nurse is more interested in chatting with her coworkers or playing on her phone, nursing home neglect is bound to occur.
If you Suspect Nursing Home Neglect, Call Our Lawyers Now
Our lawyers at Senior Justice Law Firm specialize in nursing home neglect cases. We care deeply about stopping the cycle of neglect in America’s long term care facilities. Call us today for your free case consultation at 561-717-0817.
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