Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home residents deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. They don’t deserve to get bedsores or infections, be left alone, and lack food, water, and basic hygienic supplies. When they have too many residents and not enough nurses and caretakers, neglect is more likely to occur. Unfortunately, such shameful and negligent treatment often occurs more often than you may think in nursing homes throughout New York.
Nursing homes are supposed to be fully staffed – and understaffing is one of the most common causes of nursing home neglect. When nursing homes have too many residents and not enough nurses and caretakers, neglect is significantly more likely to occur.
Many families worry about whether their loved one can truly be safe in a nursing home. While some nursing home neglect cases can be traced to one individual who is not representative of the nursing home’s overall level of care, in many instances the nursing home itself is directly responsible for neglecting residents by failing to implement appropriate policies and procedures to safeguard and care for residents. In addition, many nursing homes fail to properly hire and train their staff, which often results in the neglect of the home’s residents.
If you believe that your loved one has been neglected in a nursing home in New York, first make sure they are safe and call 911 if they have life-threatening conditions. Then, swiftly contact the highly skilled and experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. as soon as you can. Call us now to schedule your free initial consultation.
The 4 Most Common Forms of Nursing Home Neglect
Common forms of nursing neglect include:
- Basic needs neglect. Plenty of water, food, and a clean and safe living environment are all expected of a nursing home. If these basic needs are not provided, that is a form of neglect that can result in serious malnourishment, dehydration, and infection.
- Medical neglect. The nursing home should help with all the resident’s medical needs, such as medications, doctors’ appointments, infections, bedsores, cognitive diseases, and diabetes. If a nursing home neglects to assist its residents with these medical necessities, it can lead to dire consequences and even death.
- Personal hygiene neglect. Many nursing home residents need assistance with daily hygiene, such as bathing, brushing teeth, and laundry. If residents are not receiving the help they need, this is a sign of neglect that can result in severe infection and additional medical issues.
- Emotional and social neglect. Nursing home residents should have a planned schedule of care throughout the day. They should have opportunities to eat, socialize with other residents and family, and be treated with respect at all times. Those who experience emotional or social neglect may be left alone regularly. In neglecting to provide attentive emotional and social engagement, a nursing home may cause a deterioration in the physical and psychological wellbeing of its residents.
How to Spot the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect can lead to severe injuries, illnesses, or malnourishment. When a resident is experiencing neglect in a nursing home, it can be more difficult to immediately notice the signs of neglect than in instances of physical abuse.
Understanding the signs of neglect can help you determine if it is necessary to take legal action against the nursing home responsible for your loved one’s care. Often, the signs of neglect do not appear for significant periods and require close attention to changes in mood, behavior, and appearance. The effects of neglect can be subtle and gradual.
Common signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Bedsores (pressure ulcers)
- Unexplained injuries, such as cuts, bruises, wounds or broken bones
- Poor personal hygiene
- Signs of malnutrition
- Signs of dehydration
- Dirty bedsheets or clothing
- Foul smells
- Social withdrawal
- Extreme weight loss or gain
- Changes in behavior
- Absence of dentures, glasses, or hearing aids
- Ambivalence toward caregivers
- Reluctance to speak around caregivers
- Ripped clothing
- Suspicious worsening of medical conditions
- Over or under medication
- Sudden changes in behavior
The condition of the nursing home itself may also indicate neglect, such as:
- Bug infestations
- Faulty wiring
- Inadequate space
- Poor ventilation
- Uncleanliness or unsanitary conditions
- Dangerous living environment
- Poor communication by staff
How to Prevent Nursing Home Neglect
In many instances, nursing home neglect is caused by understaffing and poor training. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate your attentiveness, love, and care for your loved one to the nursing home. Walk around the nursing home with your loved one and introduce him or her to the entire staff – and visit regularly. If you are unable to visit often, then call your loved one regularly and frequently touch base with the caregivers who are primarily responsible for your loved one. This will show the nursing home that they cannot forget or neglect your loved one without you finding out and taking action.
Keep a lookout for the common signs of nursing home neglect. If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected, it is important to address the neglect as soon as possible. In addition, it is important to document any signs of neglect, whether by letter, email or notes following a meeting or call with the nursing home staff. This may be used as evidence if an action is commenced.
What to Do If a Loved One Has Been Neglected or Died Due to Nursing Home Neglect
Speak to a New York nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. In New York, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim against a negligent nursing home. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. For cases involving nursing home neglect, you have three years from the date of the incident.
In especially tragic cases, nursing home neglect can lead to the death of a nursing home resident. If you suspect your loved one died due to nursing home neglect, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In order to have a successful wrongful death lawsuit, you must show that the nursing home neglect resulted in the death of your loved one.
New York has a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases, and there any many procedural hurdles in New York that must be completed prior to the commencement of a wrongful death action, so it’s critical that you consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney and begin your case as soon as possible. It’s also important to promptly start investigating a possible wrongful death case in order to gather evidence and interview witnesses before memories fade.
The highly skilled and compassionate lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. will be able to handle all aspects of your wrongful death investigation and claim during this incredibly difficult time for you.
Contact the Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C.
Finz & Finz, P.C. is prepared to thoroughly investigate all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the nursing home neglect that your loved one has suffered. We will gather all of the evidence to support your claim. Our knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers will analyze your loved one’s medical and non-medical records to determine the full extent of your their injuries and losses. We can then prepare the strongest case possible to put you in the best position to seek the full and fair compensation your family deserves.
The New York nursing home neglect lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. work on a contingency-fee-basis. This means you will not have to pay anything until we recover compensation for you. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us today or contact us online.