Nursing home negligence is a devastating reality for many seniors living in these facilities. You trust the staff to provide your loved one with at least the standard of care required by law. Unfortunately, many nursing homes fall short, causing illness, injury, and death. Our firm has helped many families seek justice for the severe injuries and trauma their loved one experienced due to staff negligence.
Negligence occurs when the facility management and caregivers fail to meet the resident’s basic needs, including water, food, shelter, hygiene, medical care, and clothing. The National Center for Victims of Crime reports that 15.3 percent of elder abuse complaints in nursing homes involve neglect. These egregious acts may happen due to poor training, understaffing, or a lack of background checks before hiring. A poorly maintained facility can’t provide the quality of care their residents need to be healthy and content.
In some cases, neglect can be considered abuse if the caregiver purposely fails to provide care to a resident and the resident is harmed or killed due to the lack of action.
Red Flags for Nursing Home Negligence
Make sure you visit your family member in the nursing home often, so you notice the warning signs of neglect. If the staff knows an older adult has family checking in on them regularly, they are more likely to provide proper care. Some of the top warning signs you need to watch for include:
- Bedsores: Open wounds and ulcers due to prolonged inactivity in one position can be painful and dangerous, leading to infection and illness. Nursing home staff are required to move residents with mobility issues regularly.
- Sudden weight loss: Quickly dropping a lot of weight can be a sign of malnutrition.
- Poor hygiene: Forgetting to change a bedpan or not bathing a resident who requires help with hygiene is dehumanizing and a significant indication that your family member’s basic needs are not being met.
- Untreated medical conditions: You may notice your loved one seems to be in more pain than usual or is experiencing symptoms that are supposed to be controlled with medications such as dementia or diabetes. This could be a sign that the staff is not administering prescribed medicines or the incorrect dosage.
- Unexplained injuries: Lack of care from the nursing home staff may cause your family member to try to see to their own needs, such as using the bathroom or showering. You may see burns, bruises in different stages of healing, or broken bones from falls.
- Changes in behavior: The staff may neglect your loved one’s social and emotional needs and accidentally isolate them by failing to provide a cane or wheelchair for someone who can’t move or leaving residents in their room. Lack of social interactions can lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychological concerns.
- Same clothing and bedding: Pay attention to the garments on your loved one and the state of their bedding. Nursing home employees may neglect your loved one’s basic hygiene needs by failing to change their clothes or leaving soiled bedding.
- Dehydration: If your loved one doesn’t receive the required amount of fluids, they can quickly become dehydrated, which can happen if the nursing home does not carefully monitor water and food intake.
- Untreated infection or illness: The facility may fail to report signs of infection or other illness to the physician in charge of your loved one’s care, which means they will not receive the medical care they need to improve.
- Insomnia: Nursing home negligence is closely associated with poor sleep, which increases the risk of mortality in residents because proper sleep is essential for good health.
If you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence, act quickly to restore their health and quality of life. Report the neglect to the appropriate authorities, such as the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and Adult Protective Services, and contact our firm right way to investigate your case.
Our practice is dedicated to helping accident victims. If you ever need help with a legal problem or just want information on this subject, you can always reach our firm at 777-JOHN. We serve clients throughout Florida with our main office in Orange Park and consult offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.