Choosing to place a parent in a nursing facility is a complicated decision to make. You don’t have the time or means to personally care for your loved one to the extent that they need, but want the best care for them nonetheless. That’s when you trust the a local nursing home to give them the attention, medical care, quality of life, and nutrition that they deserve. What happens when that trust is misplaced? The following blog will help you stay aware of signs of nursing home neglect or abuse.
An elderly or disabled persons needs a higher level of care. When nursing homes fail to meet these standards, the result can be neglect, abuse, injury, and even death. An estimated one in every three nursing home residents suffer from abuse or neglect according the The National Center on Elder Abuse. Because some incidents are not reported, that number may be even higher in reality.
It can be shocking to think that that many people in nursing facilities are abused– the intentional act of causing harm. Your instincts may be right: Much of the reported incidents are not cases of abuse, but neglect. Neglect is defined differently: Unintentional harm that may result from poor working conditions or leadership. Conditions that may result in neglect include high staff turnover, understaffing, and a lack of proper training.
Effects of Nursing Home Neglect
The physical, mental, and emotional effects that neglect can have on the sick, elderly, or disabled are severe and may include the following:
- -Lacerations and injuries
- -Rashes and skin disorders
- -Increase in severity of current illness
Some signs that your loved one may be suffering from neglect are lack of hygiene, frequent or unexplained falls, food or water deprivation, random bruising, agitated or depressed mood, weight loss, and unnecessary sedation or drowsiness. These are red flags that mean they could be receiving an inadequate amount of medical care and attention.
The National Center on Elder Abuse states that family and friends of nursing home residents should stay aware and look out for signs of possible neglect or abuse. Visit the facility, speak with your loved one and the nursing home staff often. Check for any signs of neglect as mentioned above.
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect
If you suspect a situation of neglect, you should report the facility to the state department of health so they can start an investigation. Federal law requires that nursing home residents be safe and free from abuse, punishment, or seclusion. Of course, if anyone is in immediate danger please call emergency services for proper evaluation by medical personnel that will be trained to recognize signs of abuse.
Getting in touch with an experienced lawyer in New Jersey can also help the situation. Your lawyer will defend the rights of the resident and explain the legal options. They will also protect your right as the person reporting the abuse and build a case in order to make the guilty parties accountable.
If you need a personal injury attorney specializing in nursing home neglect and abuse, The Hayes Firm can connect you with one today. We have an extensive network of experienced lawyers throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact us today for a free consultation.