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Nursing home neglect: Dangerously common

submitted by Jeffrey A. Krawitz, Esq., Shareholder, Stark & Stark

With limited abilities, the elderly need to depend on caregivers for their everyday needs.

By admitting a loved one to a nursing home, you expect them to be safe and attended to.

Though nursing facilities are responsible for the well-being of their residents, they can fall short of providing the necessary care.

Nursing home neglect happens every day, in a variety of ways:

  • Medical neglect – failing to adequately attend to a patient’s health concerns, including bedsores, infections, mobility issues and medication needs;
  • Basic needs neglect – failing to provide a patient with a sufficient amount of water, food, or a safe and sanitary environment;
  • Personal hygiene neglect – failing to assist residents regularly with bathing, brushing teeth, changing clothes, and other hygiene needs;
  • Social/Emotional neglect – consistently ignoring residents, leaving them alone for too long, or disregarding their emotional concerns.

Nursing home neglect can also lead to broken bones typically associated with falls.

Unfortunately, elderly residents often fall trying to go to the bathroom or to get water by themselves because no one is there to help or responds to a call for assistance.

Studies show that nursing home residents who are visited often by family and friends are less susceptible to neglect.

It’s important that families of nursing home residents keep a close eye on their loved ones and look for signs of abuse/neglect, including bedsores, injuries, malnutrition, dehydration, unsanitary conditions and emotional distress.

Nursing home neglect is abuse.