Neglect in nursing home is a growing issue that affects thousands of elderly citizens. A nursing home is supposed to be a place where residents can trust that they will be cared for and looked after. It is these same places that fail to fulfill their caretaking obligation and should face a nursing home neglect lawsuit.
Neglect can come in many different forms and it differs from abuse, although the two sometimes go hand-in-hand. One form of neglect is the personal hygiene of a resident. The nursing home facility is supposed to provide clean laundry and keep the resident’s hygiene in a clean state. This means bathing them, brushing their teeth, and any other form of hygiene. When these actions are ignored, it becomes neglect. Another form of neglect is basic needs. The nursing home is required to provide reasonable food, water, and a clean environment for the elderly. Keeping a clean environment is a common issue among nursing homes. In 2005, 91.7% of America’s nursing homes were cited by health inspectors for at least one deficiency. The other major form of neglect is medical neglect. Bedsores, cuts, and infections are ignored by employees and the adequate attention needed for any medical concern is simply non-existent. Most residents of nursing homes require some sort of medication and some residents receive medication that they don’t even need at all. It was reported that one-third of residents are being overmedicated with antipsychotic drugs to prevent agitation and combative behavior.
Surprised visits are always a good thing when there is any suspicion of neglect. If you notice sudden weight loss with a resident, bedsores or pressure ulcers, dehydration, or changes in behavior, then this could mean that they are being neglected. Other things to watch out for are poorly lit rooms, changes in behavior, or unsafe equipment being left unattended. All of these things are dangers to a nursing home resident. Failure of the facility to oblige by the Nursing Home Reform Act could result in a nursing home neglect lawsuit.
Nursing home neglect is not something to take lightly. Many people have been imprisoned because of their actions. In April 2015, a couple who owned and operated an elder care home facility were found guilty of neglect. 11 victims in the case were all neglected. The couple would lock residents with dementia inside of their rooms overnight and failed to protect them against fires, falls, and health conditions such as lying in their own waste. The couple waived their right to a trial and are currently facing charges that could land them in prison for 10 years.
With nursing home neglect being such a prevalent issue in the United States, there is a good chance that it could happen to you or someone you know. There is no excuse to neglect another human being and the law needs to get involved. If you know or feel that someone may be a victim of nursing home neglect, get into contact with an attorney immediately. There are law offices that specialize in nursing home neglect lawsuit situations such as these and know the laws regarding these issues. There are also numbers to call so that facilities who partake in neglect can be reported. There are over 16,000 nursing homes in the United States and about 1.6 million residents. Approximately 10% of those residents experience some sort of abuse, but only 1 in 14 are reported to authorities.
Whom to Call
If you suspect neglect, please take action and call CPS or a local hotline.