Neglect in nursing homes towards older patients is, unfortunately, a common issue that is encountered all over the world. As much as 15.3% of elder patients have complained of neglect in some form or the other in nursing homes according to the National Center for Victims of Crime. The nursing home neglect occurs when the residents do not get adequate care and develop physical or mental health complications as a result. From stressed and overworked employees to unqualified caregivers who are given way too many responsibilities than they can handle, the causes for neglect in nursing homes are plenty.
Types of Negligence
Negligence towards residents can be shown in many forms in nursing homes. Here are the most common types:
1. Medical Neglect
Medical nursing home neglect includes failing to meet the health care needs of the residents. Here are some instances of medical include:
● Not giving medications on time or when needed.
● Not informing nurses or doctors about signs of illnesses and infections in residents.
● Failing to move residents with issues in their mobility regularly thus promoting bedsores.
● Not giving proper medical care for existing health problems.
2. Emotional Neglect
Nursing homes are a great way of making friends and meeting new people for the elders. These interactions are proven to boost the mental health and consequently the physical health of the residents. Preventing residents from interacting with each other by accidentally isolating them, not giving canes or walkers to patients with mobility issues, or forgetting to move them are instances of social and emotional neglect by the nursing home.
3. Hygiene and Basic Living Needs Neglect
If the nursing home had promised particular living needs that they, later on, failed to provide, it is a form of health care neglect. Here are some instances:
● Not changing a senior resident’s clothes regularly.
● Not cleaning the rooms and the nursing home facility properly every day.
● Failing to notice or change the bedcovers and clothes of senior residents who soil themselves.
● Giving contaminated or unsafe food and water to residents.
● Not giving baths to seniors who fail to do so themselves.
Signs of Neglect in Patients
If you have a family member or friend in a nursing home and you suspect neglect, here are some signs and symptoms you should look for:
● A significant change in their personality and behavior.
● Symptoms of dehydration and/or malnutrition.
● Broken bones or bruises and other similar unexplained injuries.
● Pressure sores or ulcers are signs of bedsores.
● Accidental or self-inflicted burns.
● New medical injuries and conditions are still untreated.
● Issues with personal hygiene: dirty clothes or emitting odor.
● Sleep loss or insomnia which they did not have before.
Even after noticing these signs, it can be quite hard to figure out if a resident is a victim of negligence. Moreover, patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s will find it more difficult to tell their part of the story.
Negligence in nursing homes can be in many forms. It is important to notice little details about residents to identify signs of neglect. With the help of legal counsels, you can take action against such neglecting nursing homes.