Nursing home residents are often subject to abuse and neglect. But the biggest problem is that nursing home neglect is often not easy to detect. Part of the problem is that a large majority of Florida nursing home residents are very elderly. Some can hardly speak while others may be suffering from dementia or may be just too afraid to speak up.
In many cases, nursing home neglect may not even be evident in any physical form. We all know that emotional abuse does not leave physical scars, but can leave massive scars internally and psychologically. There may be situations where the behavior of the nursing home resident changes, but even this can be overlooked by family and friends as they may attribute this change to old age or medical conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
For families of nursing home residents in Middleburg, Florida, it is important to be aware of some warning signs that your loved one may be a victim of nursing home neglect. These warning signs include:
- Continued loss of body weight
- Frequent skin infections
- Bed Sores
- Sudden change in personality, fearful, scared, or crying
- Withdrawn and not socially interactive
- Pressure ulcer
- Recurrent falls
- Worsening of personal hygiene
- Environment not safe like slippery floors, poor lighting, broken furniture, unclean bathroom
If you observe any of these warning signs and are fairly certain that your loved one is being abused or neglected, call a Middleburg nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Today, many nursing homes have cameras that allow managers to watch every patient. But these cameras are not monitored all the time. That is why it is important for the family member to immediately report their concerns if they notice something unusual. The more a family member communicates with the nursing home employees and manager, the less likely it is that negligence will occur.
Distracted Staff and Florida Nursing Home Neglect
When neglect occurs in a nursing home, sooner or later, the resident will start to show some type of physical and emotional signs that may not have been present before. They can develop infections, have bruises, and in some serious cases, may even die. While certain types of nursing home neglect are obvious, most are subtle and never reported to anyone.
The majority of medication errors in Florida nursing homes occur during preparation or administration of the drug. Sometimes the doctor may have written the wrong dose or the nurse may make up the wrong dose or even give the medication to the wrong patient. In all nursing homes, medications are usually administered to the residents by a nursing staff or a nurse who has completed a course in dispensing medications to nursing home patients. In many nursing homes, the common routine is for the nurse to carry all the mediations in a ‘cart’ and go from room to room and administer the medication as scheduled.
While some states only allow a licensed nurse to administer medications from a cart, some states do permit nursing assistants or unlicensed nurses to administer the medications as long as they are supervised by a licensed nurse. Unfortunately, most nursing homes only have few licensed nurses on staff and the homes are mainly run by regular nurses or nurses in training. The typical ‘med pass’ round in a cart may take 3-5 hours, depending on the number of residents in the home. In addition, it often takes several more hours to arrange, organize, and complete the necessary paperwork before the medications are dispensed. There is a great deal of room for errors and mistakes in this scenario.
We understand that most nursing homes are understaffed and the staff is often overworked. In addition, there is a higher risk of unexpected events or acute problems with residents that could distract nursing staff. In some cases, the constant distractions cause the nursing staff to rush through the dispensing process, which is a major cause of medication errors. When distractions occur, the nurse may give the resident the wrong dose, the wrong medication, or even double the dose of the same medication. If someone you know has been a victim of this, you should refer them to a Florida nursing home neglect lawyer at once.
Schedule a Consultation with a Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorney in Middleburg, FL
At John Fagan Accident Lawyers, we believe that nursing home residents deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect and deserve to have their healthcare needs looked after by dedicated nursing home staff. If this is not happening, you should talk to our Middleburg nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer to find out how you can take action against the negligent nursing home staff.