What are the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect?
There are a few warning signs you can watch for to protect your loved ones from nursing home abuse or neglect.
Changes in general well-being to be aware of which may indicate abuse or neglect:
- Malnutrition or unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Frequent infections
- Unmet medical needs (like scheduled doses or missed appointments)
- Poor hygiene or unclean conditions
- Dirty clothing or bed sheets
Physical signs of nursing home abuse to be aware of:
- Bed injuries like bedsores (pressure ulcers), side rail injuries, or even strangulation
- Reports of falling or evidence of past falls (indicating the resident is not receiving appropriate assistance moving around, getting out of the bed, using the bathroom)
- Unexplained broken bones or fractures, bruises, cuts or welts (these may be at various stages of healing)
- Head injuries
Social or behavioral changes that may indicate nursing home abuse:
- Inadequate time for socialization
- Withdrawal from social interactions or refusal to speak
- Emotional outbursts or new changes in behavior
- Nurses or caregivers refusing to allow the patient to be alone with loved ones or the resident appears reluctant to speak in caregiver’s presence
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NURSING HOME ABUSE AND NEGLECT?
If a caregiver is intentionally harming a patient, that is nursing home abuse. Abuse often involves denying patient’s needs such as: food, water, and medical treatment. It can also include physical and financial harm.
Nursing home neglect is unintentional failures by the caregiver. Examples of neglect are: failing to follow the patients or resident’s care plan, ignoring calls for assistance, failing to maintain the patient’s hygiene, or otherwise failing to meet a social, physical, or emotional needs.
COMMON TYPES OF NURSING HOME ABUSE AND NEGLECT
WHAT Causes Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home and hospice facilities should provide patients with the attention, care, and medical treatment they deserve. Unfortunately, malpractice may still occur. Causes include:
- Failure to hire and train qualified medical professionals
- Negligence of the duties promised to the residents and their families
- Failure to adequately staff the facility to handle the needs of its residents
- Attempts to cut corners on care and support in order to make more money
- Failure to properly screen potential employees and provide a safe living environment
Although it is horrifying to consider, too many facilities do not keep up with residents’ medical, emotional and personal needs. Nursing home and long-term care facilities’ shortfalls cause residents to suffer illness or unnecessary pain and suffering.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT NURSING HOME ABUSE OR NEGLECT?
If the resident in question is in immediate danger, please contact your local authorities to safely remove them from the situation and provide appropriate care.
After contact local authorities, contact the Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) to report a violation or misconduct. Doing so will trigger an investigation into the facility. You can also call the toll-free number 1-800-642-6552 to file a complaint. Leave a voicemail message and your call will be returned by the next working day.
In situations of abuse or neglect where the individual is not in imminent danger, it makes sense to contact a nursing home attorney who can help you navigate the procedures and regulations that protect you or your loved one. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney will guide you and your loved one through every step.
contact The Attorneys at habush Habush & Rottier
The nursing home abuse lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. are here to help you with your nursing home or hospice facility malpractice claim. To discuss the details of your situation, contact us at 800-2-HABUSH (800-242-2874) today.