Nursing home abuse and neglect are serious issues that occur at facilities all across the country. Neglect is considered one of the most common types of abuse that occur. Cases of neglect take place when an individual is not receiving a proper level of care for their needs. The level of care required varies from one person to the next; however, for nursing home residents it can include things such as assistance with mobility, eating, and hygiene.
If a nursing home does not provide proper care, the residents may suffer severe psychological and physical damage. Getting to know the signs of neglect can help to prevent it or even stop it before your loved one suffers too much. While the signs may vary depending on the situation, one indication alone doesn’t always point to a neglect; however, a combination of the following problems may indicate a more thorough investigation needs to be done.
Poor Personal Hygiene
Many nursing home residents require help with basic personal hygiene. This includes simple tasks, many take for granted, such as getting dressed, using the toilet, brushing your teeth, etc. If a person is suffering neglect, they are often left to handle these tasks on their own. Many in this situation are unable to do so, leading to poor personal hygiene.
If a nursing home doesn’t have enough staff members for the number of residents, the hygiene routines are one of the first things to suffer. Also, in some situations, the staff doesn’t have proper education in the health care field to know what needs to be done. This is a serious issue in nursing homes throughout the country.
Unsanitary Living Conditions
It is required that nursing homes provide residents with clean and safe living conditions. If they don’t do this, it is considered neglect. According to the federal law, a nursing home facility has to establish and maintain an infection control program that provides a sanitary, comfortable and safe environment for residents to live in. They also have to meet the state requirements for security and safety.
Physical Issues Resulting from Poor Nutrition
Neglect can also lead to a number of physical issues for the elderly, including malnutrition and dehydration. Regardless of if it is caused deliberately or because of an understaffing issue, poor nutrition currently affects millions of people in nursing homes all across the country. In fact, according to recent research, it is estimated that approximately 20 percent of all nursing home residents suffer from some level of malnutrition.
There are several issues that can result in dehydration and malnutrition, including lack of individualized care, as well as inadequate staffing. Medical issues such as problems swallowing and depression can also play a role in this.
Lack of or Loss of Mobility
Mobility is often a problem for nursing home residents. A quality nursing home is going to make sure the staff assists residents in moving around, exercising and remaining as active as possible. Some facilities utilize walking programs to build strength and tone. If an individual has been neglected, they may be left in bed for extended periods of time, which puts them at risk for a total loss of mobility.
If you believe that a loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney.They can investigate the situation and help you know what to do next.