Last Updated on February 17, 2024 by Saira Farman
Nursing home neglect is a tragically common form of elder abuse. A wide variety of situations and scenarios may fall under its category – from a staff member hitting a resident to neglecting a patient’s needs; abuse can take many forms. This type of neglect can often cause severe and long-lasting harm to the facility’s residents.
According to the NCOA, one out of every ten Americans over 60 has suffered elder abuse. Those who are socially isolated from their loved ones are more likely to be neglected by their family members, leading to more neglect in long-term care facilities.
However, if you care about the elderly in your family, you should keep an eye on their health and watch out for the symptoms.
Warning Signs of Elder Abuse:
- Fractures or bone damage.
- Skin injuries, bruises, burns, cuts
- Body weakness
- Head injuries
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Frequent Illness
If these warning signs appear on your loved ones, you know they are suffering from neglect. Nursing homes continue to make careless decisions that harm families because most families are unaware of these symptoms.
What Can You Do If Your Loved Ones Is Suffering?
Many families trust that their loved ones will be well taken care of in a nursing home or care facility. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If you feel you have been a victim or know someone who has suffered negligence, a nursing home abuse lawsuit may be able to help you get compensation from irresponsible institutions. The first step you can take is to contact a lawyer.
Nursing Home Abuse: Reasons for Making a Claim
You can sue the institution for a variety of reasons, including:
1. Hazardous or Unsanitary Conditions
Many seniors require assistance with maintaining their hygiene or keeping their assisted living in California spaces clean, which falls on nursing home employees and caregivers. Hazardous and unsanitary conditions can lead to poor health and even illness. If you notice any harmful or unhygienic circumstances, please report them immediately. In the event that a resident has been injured, you can pursue a negligence lawsuit.
2. Negligent Hiring Practices
Nursing facilities are frequently understaffed or, worse, staffed with under-qualified people with a history of criminal or abusive behavior.
Inadequate recruiting is often the result of agitated and exhausted nursing administrative staff. They can even put nursing home patients in danger of being harmed or abused by others. Physical markings on a resident, unexplained injuries, bruising or cuts, burn injuries, ripped underwear, substantial changes in a person’s money, withdrawal, sadness, furious outbursts, and more are all signs of abuse.
In contrast, nursing facilities must hire sufficient staff to maintain a proper staff-to-patient ratio. When these employment standards are violated, patients suffer, and if that happens, the nursing home should be held liable for its careless recruiting practices.
3. Lack of Supervision
Another consequence of an inadequate or untrained group of caregivers is that residents do not receive appropriate supervision. The most significant danger associated with this lack of monitoring is the chance of falls, which is one of the most common yet preventable causes of injury in nursing homes. Nursing home neglect is a broad term used for a variety of actions that might prove to be harmful to the nursing home residents, such as:
- Inadequate supervision
- Lack of proper nutrition/hydration
- Unhygienic conditions
- Failure to assist them in their daily activities
- Not providing basic social activities and stimulation to residents
- Providing inadequate medical treatment and care to residents
Residents in nursing homes frequently require supervision for even the most basic activities; the injuries that can come from a nursing home’s neglect are limitless. They can range from simple cuts and bruises to significant internal injuries. When negligence causes these injuries, someone should be held accountable for the patient’s pain and suffering.
4. Financial Exploitation
Nursing homes and their workers have been accused of forging signatures, cashing checks without permission, or simply stealing residents’ money and belongings. According to 2009 research done by the MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, financial abuse costs elderly victims $2.6 billion every year. The majority of the time, the resident is entirely unaware of any crime taking place.
For Example, residents with dementia often fall victim to financial abusers. Symptoms of financial abuse include:
- Stealing money from wallets or purses.
- Taking credit cards for personal use.
- Tricking residents into signing over powers of attorney.
- Even altering their wills.
If you suspect financial exploitation, you should report it and sue for the money lost.
5. Substandard Medical Treatment
A decent nursing home should include on-site doctors and qualified and licensed nurses to care for the residents appropriately. Nursing home staff must adhere to a medical standard of care in an emergency. That standard requires them to know when to contact a physician or make arrangements for proper care at a hospital. If the employees fail, they and their company may be held accountable for the resulting outcome. Unfortunately, not every medical scenario is successful. A doctor may make a surgical or medical blunder from time to time. Medical negligence may take many forms, ranging from misdiagnoses to incorrect prescription medications to surgical errors that result in severe complications or death.
A good nursing home should have on-site doctors and skilled and licensed nurses to care for the residents properly. In an emergency, nursing home employees must follow a medical standard of care. This level requires them to know when to contact a doctor or arrange appropriate hospital treatment. If the personnel fail, they and their employer may be held liable for the outcome. Unfortunately, not every medical circumstance is a success. Misdiagnoses, incorrect prescription drug, and surgical blunders that result in severe consequences or death are all examples of medical neglect.
It can be difficult to establish liability in a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit, especially if the evidence is ambiguous or insufficient. If you’re thinking of filing a lawsuit against a nursing home or any long-term care provider, you should speak with a lawyer who has handled nursing home abuse cases to learn more about the law and your family’s rights. A nursing facility that engages in any of the practices above causes more damage than benefits to the elders. Don’t hesitate to act if a family member suffers neglect or abuse.