What Constitutes Nursing Home Negligence?
As our population ages, many of us must face the possibility of long-term nursing care for either ourselves, our parents, or even our friends. It is a tough decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, and when you do, you expect the best care possible. Unfortunately, many nursing homes in California fail to provide the proper standard of care or neglect their duties to care for their elderly residents. When this happens, the consequences can be devastating.
According to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 21,000 nursing homes with almost 1.5 million elderly residents in the US. Sadly, one in every ten elderly individuals will suffer from some form of elder abuse. Many of these cases of abuse occur as a result of nursing home negligence.
Nursing home negligence or neglect is when the care facility fails to provide your loved ones with the proper care and treatment they deserve. Most of the time, neglect can present itself in different ways; such as physical, medical, or emotional negligence. Nursing home negligence often go unreported, especially in cases where the patient is aged, senile, and unable to voice out their displeasure.
Below is a list of what constitutes a nursing home negligence:.
1. Emotional Negligence
This is one of the most challenging types of nursing home neglect to identify since it isn’t obvious. Nursing home staff can often let their anger, stress, and personal problems affect their communication with residents. Senior citizens are susceptible to depression or mental breakdowns and are in dire need of communication and emotional support. Without a dedicated efforts on the part of the nursing home staff, emotional neglect may affect the overall wellbeing of the residents who need a constant human relationship.
Signs of emotional negligence include; sudden quietness, change in sleeping pattern, lack of eye contact, depression, and withdrawal from social activities. If you notice any of these signs, you can either speak to the nursing home director or take legal action.
2. Personal Hygiene Negligence
Most residents in nursing home facilities require additional human assistance to achieve and maintain their daily personal hygiene. Without regular support from nursing home staff, residents are left to cater for their change of clothes or even basic hygiene.
Victims of this type of negligence may not receive the assistance they need with showering, oral care, and/or toilet hygiene. You may notice the following in your loved ones if they have fallen victim to personal hygiene negligence; such as the presence of dry skin, greasy skin, lice, foul body or mouth odor, scabies, and low self-esteem.
Victims of this type of negligence may not receive the assistance they need with showering, oral care, and/or toilet hygiene. You may notice the following signs in your loved ones if they have fallen victim to personal hygiene negligence;, such as the presence of dry skin, greasy skin, lice, foul body or mouth odor, scabies, and low self-esteem.
3. Medical Negligence
One of the reasons why you may be moving your family member to a nursing home facility is for them to get adequate medical care. This is not always the case. Overburdened nursing home staff or short-staffed facilities may lack the ability to provide your loved ones with the standard medical care they deserve. Example of medical neglect includes:
- failure to aid residents with feeding and mobility
- lengthy deprivation of patients of food and water
- medicating patients with unprescribed antipsychotic drugs
- failure to provide medication on time.
Some of the typical results of this type of negligence are bedsores or pressure sores, malnutrition, and even death.
4. Basic Needs Negligence
Nursing home negligence doesn’t always manifest as a lack of physical or emotional support. Sometimes, it can manifest as a lack of basic needs. Just like every other individual, nursing home residents also require the necessities of life, such as food, proper shelter, sleep, clothing, security, and socialization. Unfortunately, many nursing homes fail to provide elderly residents with these basic needs. Some of the common signs of basic needs neglect are drastic weight loss, injuries, unsuitable clothing, and skin welts.
If you believe your loved one is being neglected, you should take the issue up with the head of the nursing home. You can file a nursing home neglect suit on behalf of your family member if you suspect there is/ has been a failure to provide a safe environment or the required standard of care and treatment. Since state laws differ, you should speak to an elder abuse attorney within your state for proper guidance.