When the face the decision to place a family member in a nursing facility we wonder just how well they’re taken care of. Headlines have recently upped our anxiety levels somewhat as we read about the neglect that occurs in nursing homes, sometimes the situation evolves from neglect to active abuse.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect can take many forms:
• Medical – medical neglect failure is when the caregiver does not attend to the medical needs or prevents medical problems from forming. They have a provisional responsibility to care for diabetes, bedsores, lacerations, infections, cognitive disorders and mobility issues.
• Sanitation – Basic needs such as a reasonable amount of water or food or fails to provide a clean safe environment. These facilities along with rehabs are famous for failing in housekeeping and basic dwelling repair. A clean environment prevents allergies, viral and bacterial infections. Good housekeeping is a must.
• Hygiene – Neglect is when the caregiver does not give assistance to cleaning, laundry, bathing and dental hygiene.
• Social & Emotional Neglect – ignoring the resident, leaving alone for extended periods and being verbally abusive.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
There are ‘tells’ that indicate a problem, either abusive or neglect:
• Bedsores. These are the result of inadequate bedding changes and positional stagnation. Lying in the same position for extended duration leads to the development of bedsores. When this duty is neglected the elderly resident can develop painful artifacts like bruising and welts, these are what is known as bedsores. Bedsores are relatively easy to prevent, if present they may be indicators of a broader spectrum of mistreatment.
• Malnutrition. As many of us experience a decline in appetite as we get older. But the staff of a nursing home has a responsibility to ensure a healthy level of nutrition. One problem that is regularly encountered in insufficient hydration. Complaints of thirst or hunger by the patient is indicative of possible neglect. Sudden weight loss or the patient needs help in feeding themselves are further signs.
• Injuries. These occur as part of living. As we get older, we find we bruise easier. This is due in part to the thinning of skin and loss of the subcutaneous fat layers. However, bruising and lacerations should have an explanation. Unexplained injuries should be pause for concern, as it maybe an indicator of a spectrum of neglect, even abuse. Falling, serial succession or falls or torsion injuries and other medical trauma are indicators that all is not right.
• Healthy & Happy. These are symbiotic, they go together and this is regardless of age. Exhibiting unusual signs of depression or fear can indicate malnourishment or even physical abuse. Withdrawn behavior or sudden changes in behavior should be noted. Observed relationships with staff. There should be friendly interaction. A change in appearance and hygiene habits are indicative as well.
• Death. This is inevitable, but premature death is usually preventable. An unexpected passing may indicate further follow-up or investigation.
• Neglected Facility. Slippery floors, bad lighting, unsafe wheelchairs, walkers or furniture. A neglected facility has a greater risk and incidents of illness, injuries, infections and death.
• Visits by Friends & Family. There is a correlation of having visitors and the incidents of neglect or abusive behavior. Those who are visited frequently are the ones least likely to suffer from neglect and abuse. Many facilities are chronically understaffed, raising the stress levels of the caregivers and the inability to respond to the resident’s crisis.
Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Business Attorneys & More in Greater Las Vegas, Nevada
When visiting a loved one in a nursing home care center observe the state of health and the social interaction between the residents and the caregivers. Kajioka & Associates Attorneys At Law can represent you and your loved ones in cases of nursing home abuse, neglect and other cases.