Nursing home neglect is defined as the failure of a nursing home’s staff to properly care for its residents, and the effects can result in very serious health issues. Entrusting the care of an elderly loved one to the staff of a residential care facility can be a difficult decision for any family, particularly with the increasing number of nursing home abuse and neglect cases in the U.S. In order to ensure your loved one is receiving quality care and to protect their well-being, friends or family members should be aware of the different signs of nursing home neglect.
The following are some common ailments and nursing home neglect issues associated with nursing home care:
- Falls: A nursing home staff should observe their elderly resident regularly to prevent a fall, or to prevent a fall-related injury from becoming something more serious. In a facility without proper observation, a resident could lie on the floor for hours after a fall, which can exacerbate any injuries or trauma.
- Bedsores: A patient who spends an extended period of time in bed may be subject to bedsores, and the stages of bedsores can range from mild to severe. A bedsore results from pressure that is unrelieved and persists for hours or days; thus, appropriate attention is likely not being given to a resident if the bedsore increases in severity.
- Bed-related strangulation and suffocation: As elderly residents are in bed for longer periods of time, the chance of injury increases. An estimated 20 to 30 deaths occur each year in nursing homes due to strangulation or suffocation associated with bed rails or falling between a bed frame and poorly sized mattress.
- Dehydration: Dehydration can be very dangerous for an elderly individual, but it can be avoided by the nursing home staff maintaining a rigid schedule and addressing the dietary and hydration needs of each resident.
- Malnutrition: Malnutrition can also be a serious threat to elderly residents, and improper nutrition can lead to a compromised immune system or weakness and fragility of bones. Residents should be evaluated daily, and suitable, individualized nutrition plans should be created and adhered to.
Discovering your elderly loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect is extremely upsetting, but it is important to know you have rights. A skilled Louisville nursing home abuse lawyer can help you understand your legal right and options, and can help you hold any negligent parties responsible for the harm caused.