Common Types of Nursing Home Neglect And What You Should Do About Them
Nursing home neglect is considered a form of personal injury that warrants a penalty in the form of damages. However, if the injury from such negligence could result in a more severe injury or death, the attending medical practitioners can be held criminally liable. When you or your loved one experience any form of nursing home neglect, it’s best to talk to your lawyer about your next courses of action.
According to studies, over 5,000,000 elderly individuals suffer from neglect in their own nursing homes. The same research also suggests that one in every ten elders experience abuse in the care facilities they’re staying. The staggering number of cases of this form of neglect is so high that it seems like healthcare professionals in these facilities are not aware of its serious repercussions when they’re caught and found guilty of such offense.
What are the common types of nursing home neglect?
Medical neglect is one of the most common, and this is characterized by the failure of the home staff to satisfy the resident’s specific health care needs. Acts falling in this category could include the following:
- Deliberate withholding of medications
- Disregarding the need to move of elders with mobility issues and subjecting them to risks of having bedsores
- Failure to report illnesses or infections to assigned nurses and doctors
- Failure to exercise appropriate care for patients suffering from dementia or diabetes
Three years ago, a 72-year older woman living in a nursing home was awarded $1 million worth of damages when the jury found the nursing home staff guilty of neglect as they let the senior woman develop severe bedsores. Her lawyers narrated that the woman never gets to see a single doctor during her stay in the healthcare facility, despite the staff’s knowledge of her bedsores.
Aside from medical neglect, emotional or social neglect is another common form of negligence in the nursing home. This type of negligence is characterized by preventing the elderly patient from interacting and socializing with other people.
Specifically, this type of neglect can occur when the facility staff:
- Fail to give walkers, wheelchairs, and canes to elderlies who struggle with mobility
- Negligently isolate residents who are vulnerable to depression
- Failure to attend to the needs of residents with severe mental and mobility issues
The third type of neglect committed in the nursing home is one involving hygiene and essential living needs. This type of negligence is characterized by the staff’s failure to afford basic living functions guaranteed by the facility to its patients.
Specifically, this could include any of the following:
- Failure to give the senior patient regular baths
- Failure to change the beddings and clothes of patients who muck up themselves
- Not changing their clothes regularly.
- Failure to provide them with safe food and water
- Not cleaning their room and exposing them to possible health hazards.
Albeit not similar to the first two, the last type of nursing home neglect is just as detrimental as medical neglect. In a 2018 case, the father of Herbert Raymond McMaster, the US’s past National Security Advisor, died because a nursing home staff failed to monitor him.
What should you do when you witness nursing home neglect?
Any form of neglect in the nursing home is considered severe because of the condition of their patient. These people are already old and have weakened immune systems. Because of their age, they also often have a hard time moving and speaking for themselves. When they’re subjected to any unpleasant experience, they could get hurt and physically deteriorate.
Their family members trusted the health care facility to do what they couldn’t in exchange for a specific fee, yet they still fail to make good on their obligation. If your loved one experience this, the best thing to do is to consult your lawyer. You and your lawyer could then contact the office of the long-term care ombudsman to file an official complaint. The said ombudsman will process and investigate the claims of neglect and ensure that all seniors under the said center’s care get the proper care.
Should you wish to directly file the case in court, your nursing home neglect lawyer could work on your case and ask for compensation in the form of actual, moral, exemplary, and compensatory damages.