With more than 15,000 nursing homes in the United States, there are hundreds of thousands of patients receiving care at this type of facility. While most nursing homes and their staff understand the importance of keeping patients safe, this does not hold true across the board. Unfortunately, there are times when a patient is neglected and denied their basic rights.
Important Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Do you have a loved one in a nursing home? If so, you need to keep your eyes open for signs of neglect. This doesn’t mean you should always think the worse, but it is best to be on the lookout to ensure the person’s safety and well-being. Some of the most common neglect indicators include:
- Poor hygiene.
- Untreated problems, including but not limited to bedsores.
- Unexplained falls.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Medication errors.
- Unsanitary conditions.
It is important to report any signs of neglect to the nursing home as soon as possible. Then, follow up and ensure that they take care of the problem. If they don’t, then you may need to take further action, such as reporting the neglect to the state’s Division of Health Care or the local Ombudsman facility.
Of course, if your loved one is in immediate danger, then call 911. This ensures that they get the medical care they need, while also opening an investigation through the police department.
Nursing Home Neglect Vs. Abuse
It is also important to know the difference between nursing home neglect and abuse. Nursing home neglect is when a person’s basic needs are dismissed. This could include not feeding, bathing, or giving the resident the medications they need. Nursing home neglect can be intentional or unintentional.
Nursing home neglect and abuse occur for many different reasons, including under-staffing or bad hiring decisions. Regardless of the cause, it should never happen.
Nursing home abuse is the emotional or physical harm to a resident. This could include hitting, pushing, kicking, or grabbing. Abuse can also include other types, like sexual or financial abuse.
Neither neglect nor abuse is acceptable, but they do often have different signs. Abuse may be easier to recognize because of its physical nature.
Legal Options Following Nursing Home Neglect
Being the victim of nursing home neglect can lead to many costs, including immediate medical care and relocation fees. Depending on the neglect, your loved one may also need counseling.
If you feel that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, don’t hesitate to consult with an experienced attorney.
We have helped many families recover the compensation they deserve for such treatment. A nursing home lawyer can also help you with reporting the neglect.