When you choose a nursing home, you expect this facility to provide high-quality care for your elderly loved one. This care includes meeting daily needs, offering appropriate medical care, and ensuring your loved one’s safety and overall well-being. Nursing homes have an important responsibility to you and your loved ones, and if these facilities neglect their duty, the consequences can be dangerous.
Elder neglect is a form of elder abuse, which can cause serious physical and emotional harm. Approximately 21% of nursing home residents experience some form of neglect while living in a long-term care facility. Although nursing home neglect is extremely common across the United States, only 1 out of 57 cases of elder neglect is ever reported.
The New York nursing home negligence attorneys at Finz & Finz P.C. are dedicated to protecting nursing home residents. We have provided the following information to help you understand and identify nursing home negligence, so you can take action and keep your loved one safe.
Common Causes of Nursing Home Negligence
Unlike many other forms of elder abuse, nursing home neglect is rarely a malicious or intentional act. However, the consequences of elder neglect are just as severe and may seriously harm your loved one. In most cases of nursing home neglect, the nursing home management or staff fail to perform their job and provide appropriate care for your loved one. This mistreatment can cause a rapid deterioration of your loved one’s physical and mental health and may lead to an increase in preventable accidents and injuries.
Nursing home neglect may happen for a number of different reasons, but some of the most common causes include:
- Corporate focus on profit rather than care
- Inadequate resources to meet residents’ needs
- Insufficient staff training
- Poorly paid staff members
- Nursing home mismanagement
When a nursing home faces these problems, staff members may be unable to adequately monitor and support your loved one’s needs. Overworked and undertrained staff are also more likely to make serious mistakes that will negatively impact your loved one’s health.
These common causes of nursing home neglect are entirely preventable if the nursing homes take their responsibility for resident care seriously. Unfortunately, almost 70% of all nursing homes are for-profit facilities and managers may focus on money more than the care they have promised to provide.
Types of Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence occurs when a facility fails to provide adequate care for your loved one’s needs. Your loved one may require a variety of different types of care, depending on their overall health, mobility, and mental capacity. Nursing home staff should be able to provide all of the necessary services to keep your loved one safe, healthy, and happy.
Nursing home negligence typically occurs in one of four different forms:
- Medical neglect: a failure to provide correct medical care, such as administering medications in the correct dosage and at the appropriate time, treating ongoing medical conditions, and identifying and addressing new medical needs.
- Neglecting basic needs: failure to provide residents with essential needs, such as food and water, daily exercise, and a safe living environment.
- Neglect of personal hygiene: failure to help residents maintain good personal hygiene through regular bathing, cleaning teeth or dentures, providing clean linens, and changing soiled clothing.
- Social and emotional neglect: failure to offer residents the opportunity to interact with others and ensure healthy relationships with staff and residents.
Nursing home staff have a responsibility to attend to each of these needs, so your loved one can thrive while living in a long-term care facility. These forms of neglect not only take a toll on your loved one’s well-being, but serious neglect can also increase the risk of medical conditions worsening or cause new medical concerns to occur.
Nursing home residents have the right to expect a safe and supportive living environment. If a nursing home fails to provide for your loved one’s needs, this facility needs to pay the price for the harm they have caused.
Who Is At Risk of Experiencing Nursing Home Neglect?
Any person living in a nursing home may be the victim of neglect, regardless of age, race, or gender. However, some residents are at a higher risk of experiencing severe neglect, due to the type and level of care they require.
Some of the reasons a resident may be more likely to experience nursing home neglect include:
- Limited mobility or physical disability
- Complex medical needs
- Dietary restrictions
- Cognitive impairments or illness
- Communication disorders
Residents who require additional or specialized care are more likely to experience neglect, especially if staff members do not have the time or training to manage their needs. Furthermore, residents who experience difficulties communicating or cognitive decline, such as dementia, may be unable to express their needs clearly, requiring staff members to closely monitor these residents to provide proper care.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Negligence?
Unfortunately, many nursing home residents will not speak out when they are experiencing neglect. However, you may recognize physical and behavioral changes, which can indicate that the nursing home is neglecting your loved one’s needs.
Some of the most common signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Significant weight loss
- Numerous fall injuries
- Frequent emergency room visits or hospitalizations
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Increased anxiety or depression
If you recognize these signs of neglect, talk to your loved one and the nursing home staff as soon as possible to address your concerns. You may need to take action on your loved one’s behalf, to ensure they are receiving the care they deserve.
Contact a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Today
Nursing home negligence can have severe physical and mental consequences. You have the power to put an end to nursing home neglect and help your loved one seek fair compensation. The New York nursing home negligence attorneys at Finz & Finz P.C. are ready to take on your case and help you protect your loved one.
Contact our skilled lawyers at 855-TOP-FIRM today to discuss your legal rights and receive a free case evaluation.