When people put their loved ones in nursing homes, they expect the best care possible. However, this does not always happen. Nursing home neglect is a serious issue.
Neglect and improper care are serious issues that are on the rise as the world sees people living longer. The aging population is growing, so more cases of neglect and abuse are occurring. Rates of neglect and abuse of older people are high in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with two out of three staff members admitting to neglecting or abusing their patients in the past year.
Neglect is no laughing matter. It can lead to worsened medical conditions and even death. So why do nursing home staff neglect residents? There are several main causes, such as:
Understaffing. Most assisted living facilities in the United States are understaffed, and this number increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. When there is not enough staff at a nursing home, each resident receives less attention. This increases the risk of neglect.
Poor training. Nursing home staff members need to be properly trained on procedures and appropriate methods of care. Otherwise, they can make mistakes and mistreat residents.
Negligent hiring. Nursing homes can be considered negligent if they hire staff members who are at high risk of neglecting residents. They should follow a thorough screening process to check criminal backgrounds and certifications before hiring staff.
Examples of Neglect
Nursing home neglect may or may not be intentional. It could include the following:
Leaving a resident with mobility issues alone in their room for long periods of time
Not calling a nurse or doctor when necessary
Not changing a resident’s clothes or bedding on a regular basis
Not cleaning a resident daily
Not giving residents enough food or water
Not giving residents the required medication
Not treating a resident’s injuries or illnesses (such as bedsores and infections)
Common types of neglect include:
Medical neglect. This is a type of medical malpractice in which nursing home staff fail to properly treat or prevent health problems. This can result in health problems such as bedsores, infections, and mobility issues. Nursing home residents are frail and already vulnerable, making them prone to serious diseases such as sepsis.
Neglect of basic needs. This type of nursing home negligence occurs when facilities fail to provide residents with enough food and water, causing them to suffer from malnutrition or dehydration. Residents are also entitled to a clean, safe environment.
Neglect of personal hygiene. This occurs when the nursing home fails to help a resident with their daily tasks of living, such as bathing residents and providing clean clothes and dental care. Neglect of personal hygiene can make residents look dirty and unhealthy.
Social neglect. This may occur when a nursing home ignores a resident or leaves them alone. Staff members may not let residents interact with others, making them feel isolated. Residents with physical disabilities or memory issues face a higher risk of social neglect.
Abandonment. Abandonment occurs when nursing home staff desert a patient. This can threaten a resident’s safety and put them at risk of harm. There have been cases of nursing homes kicking out patients and putting them in homeless shelters.
Effects of Neglect
Nursing home neglect can affect a resident in many ways. They may experience any of the following:
Urinary tract infections
How a Lawyer Can Help With Nursing Home Neglect
If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect, here are some reasons why you need to hire a lawyer:
Legal expertise. Lawyers specializing in elder law are knowledgeable about the relevant laws and regulations governing nursing homes and elder care facilities. They can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Investigation. A lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into the neglect. This may involve gathering evidence, reviewing medical records, interviewing witnesses, and inspecting the nursing home.
Documentation. Proper documentation is crucial for building a strong case. Lawyers can help you document instances of neglect, such as inadequate care, falls, poor hygiene, malnutrition, and improper administration of medication.
Communication. Lawyers can communicate with the nursing home administration and staff. They can demand explanations and seek accountability for the neglect.
Negotiations. In many cases, nursing homes may be willing to settle out of court to avoid negative publicity and potential legal consequences. Lawyers can engage in negotiations to secure a fair settlement.
Legal strategy. Lawyers will develop a legal strategy tailored to your case. They will work to prove that the nursing home had a duty of care towards the residents, breached that duty through neglect, and that the neglect caused harm to the residents.
Compensation. Lawyers can help you seek compensation for various damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Advocacy. Lawyers act as advocates for the victims of nursing home neglect. They can help ensure that victims and their families receive the attention and justice they deserve.
Preventing future neglect. Pursuing a nursing home neglect case can lead to increased awareness. The facility may even improve its care standards, potentially preventing similar cases of neglect in the future.
Contact Newman Law Group Today
In California, elder abuse and neglect means treatment resulting in harm, pain, or the mental suffering of an elderly person. This is illegal behavior and can lead to criminal charges.
Learning that an elderly person you love is being abused can cause a great deal of shock and stress. You may not know how to go about proving your case or fighting for compensation. The team at Newman Law Group, LLP, has more than 30 years of experience handling such cases. Schedule a consultation with our office today by filling out the online form or calling (916) 352-3230.