When your loved one is in a nursing home, you hope that they are getting the best care. However, that isn’t always the case. Plenty of people suffer neglect in their nursing homes.
In many parts of the United States, people in nursing homes face mental and physical health problems resulting from abuse.
Inadequate staffing is the leading cause of neglect. If employees are stressed or overworked, they may be unable to offer quality care.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect may happen in various forms.
- Medical negligence happens when the home isn’t meeting the medical needs of their resident. It may include failure to administer medication on time, improper medical care, or failure to report and treat illnesses and infections.
- Emotional/social neglect happens when a nursing home prevents or limits the ability of their resident to socialize with others. It could occur when: The staff forgets to move a resident with severe mental or mobility problems or accidentally isolates vulnerable residents.
- Neglect of basic living needs. The nursing home is responsible for ensuring that its property is safe and fit for human living. Neglect may include failure to keep the temperature normal, failure to clean the common areas, and offering inadequate or unsafe food.
When unsure of the kind of neglect that your loved one could be going through, always seek the opinion of nursing home lawyers like Nursinghomelawyerpa.com.
Here are the leading causes of neglect.
Proper training is essential even for qualified nurses. Even if they pass a background check, poor training could push nurses to neglect their residents. Nurses should be trained to detect mistreatment, neglect, or abuse signs. Training will also help them avoid mistakes like medication errors.
If a nursing home is understaffed, there may not be enough people to care for all the residents. As a result, some of them may not get as much care as they need. Understaffing reduces the general quality of a facility. Huge workloads increase the chances of nurses making mistakes.
Unfortunately, understaffing is a long-term problem in many nursing homes worldwide. It got even worse after the pandemic. Twenty percent of homes in the United States were reported to be understaffed in December 2020.
Many nursing homes are privately-owned. Therefore, there isn’t a standard for staff pay rates. Some facilities offer better payments for their employees than others.
When the employees receive adequate payment, they are more motivated to deliver quality services. Underpayment breeds demoralization. If the nurses don’t feel compelled to offer their services, they may neglect their residents. Over time, it could create a culture of low quality of care.
Neglecting Hiring Practices
Nursing homes have to abide by certain standards when hiring their employees. If they fail to perform proper background checks or hire unqualified staff members, the residents could be at risk.
If, for example, they have a history of struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, statistics suggest that they could be at a high risk of abusing others. Nursing homes must ensure that they hire the right people to take care of vulnerable seniors.
Negligent hiring practices can go beyond facilities. Sometimes, they extend to significant nursing home chains.
What to Do In the Event of Nursing Home Neglect
Once you determine that your loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect, you need to act immediately.
The main signs of abuse include:
- Weight loss and malnutrition
- Bad odor
- Dirty-looking skin
- Recurring injuries and illnesses
- Personality changes
- Loneliness and isolation
- Suicidal actions or thoughts
If a nursing home breaks its contract with you, it could face criminal or civil penalties. The rights of nursing home residents are protected under state and federal law. They have the right to be treated with care and dignity.
Consider speaking with your attorney to deal with neglect. They can help your loved ones receive the compensation they deserve. You can always sue for negligence if your loved one suffers severe health issues. In addition to your compensation, your suit may push the nursing home to do better.
Nursing home neglect is more common than you may imagine. Fortunately, there are ways to detect it and protect your loved one. Filing a lawsuit could help you and your loved ones get the compensation you deserve.