While we’d all like to believe that our elderly loved ones are enjoying compassionate care during their stay in a nursing home, unfortunately this is not always the case. Nursing home neglect is defined as a breach of duty or form of sub-standard care that results in harm to the patient. The breach of duty or sub-standard care must be a reasonably foreseeable outcome of the nursing home’s negligent actions. If your senior has suffered abuse or neglect during their time at a nursing home, contact us today.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect can vary among individual cases,
but the four primary types of nursing home neglect involve:
- Emotional or social neglect, where the elderly person is repeatedly ignored, left alone, or accidentally snapped at by an overstressed nursing home staff.
- Personal hygiene neglect, where patients do not receive adequate help with laundry, cleaning, bathing, brushing their teeth, or other forms of hygienic practices.
- Basic needs neglect, where the nursing home neglects to provide reasonable food, water, or a safe and clean environment.
- Medical neglect, where the nursing home fails to provide adequate attention, prevention, or medication for concerns such as bed sores, infections, cuts, diabetes, cognitive diseases, and mobility concerns.
Prevent Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home falls and bed suffocation are forms of physical negligence that occur more suddenly. However, these negligent nursing home events can be prevented. The nursing staff should be readily available to assist patients with mobility issues. Patients that are identified as high-risk for nursing home falls should be checked on frequently.
The staff should pay close attention to the nursing home environment, promptly resolving any sanitary and safety concerns. The nursing home resident’s mattress should be flush with the bed frame or bed rails, to prevent the patient from suffocating between the mattress and the railing. The nursing home patient should be monitored for changes in mobile or mental ability, as well as any developing medical concerns.
Efforts in preventing an elder patient’s injuries can be a combined effort.
Research indicates that nursing home patients who are visited often by family, friends, and other loved ones are less likely to experience nursing home neglect or abuse. When family is visiting with the nursing home resident, they should watch for signs of nursing home neglect, emotional distress, or changes in health. At an understaffed nursing home, effective communication between family members and nurses can play a critical role in elder patient care.
“National Center on Elder Abuse — Reports and Studies” Administration on Aging. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/NCEAroot/Main_Site/FAQ/Nursing_Home_Abuse/Reports_Studies.aspx
“Nutrition Care Alert.” Medicare. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.medicare.gov/Nursing/Campaigns/NutriCareAlerts.aspx
Robinson, Lawrence, Tina De Benedictius, and Jeanne Segal. “Elder Abuse and Neglect.” Help Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/elder_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm