Different Types of Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence encompasses a range of neglectful acts and abuse committed against residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other kinds of care facilities. It damages the mental, emotional, and physical health of residents. Bear in mind that negligence in these facilities can look different for people with differing needs. Victims and their families can and should promptly seek legal action against these neglectful acts.
Abandonment happens when someone with custody of another person deserts or leaves them without caring for them or their well-being. In a nursing home, this can look like:
- Leaving a resident in a public area for extended periods of time;
- Ignoring calls or requests;
- Failure to respond to an accident or a dangerous situation.
Nursing home staff who leave residents without care for too long can seriously damage the well-being of those residents.
Medical neglect is one of the more obvious kinds of damage to a resident. The failure to meet a patient’s medical needs can result in a slew of negative outcomes. This can look like:
- Not providing proper medications at the right times or mixing medications without checking;
- Not turning patients who are bedridden, resulting in the development of sores;
- Not supplying care for wounds resulting in sepsis or infection, inadequate diabetic care, etc.
Some long-term care facilities have been sued for sedating residents rather than caring for them.
Neglect of Basic Needs
If a patient or resident does not have their basic needs of nutrition, hydration, or a clean, safe environment—the outcomes will be damaging. When these needs are neglected, there is a risk of malnutrition, dehydration, and other issues like theft or accidents. Patients must be fed regularly and must be given food that meets their dietary and allergy needs. Sometimes in nursing homes, basic needs are overlooked when the facility has more complex issues to address for some residents—but the base needs people have should never be ignored.
Caregivers also have the responsibility to keep residents from slipping into self-neglect. Self-neglect in residents occurs when they lose the ability to care for themselves but refuse assistance. It is the caregiver’s duty to identify the patient’s needs, regardless of what they say they do or do not need.
Neglect of Hygiene
Nursing home residents have many hygiene needs. Caretakers must regularly:
- Replace and wash bedsheets;
- Wash residents’ clothes;
- Bathe residents/help them bathe themselves.
Residents’ personal hygiene and bathroom needs must be met, and they should not appear dirty or disheveled. Their rooms must also be kept clean and in order. Failure to care for a patient’s hygienic needs can result in infections and illnesses.
Keeping residents happy and content is key to keeping them healthy. As humans, we have a need to socialize with others. If residents are being ignored or kept away from other residents, family, and friends, this is social/emotional neglect. Patients with physical or mental disabilities need to be moved around the facility or guided around to avoid neglect because they cannot meet these needs themselves. Emotional neglect may also occur when a resident suffers harassment, threats, or fear from a caretaker.
Stop Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse With Our Help
If you believe your loved one or someone you know is suffering negligence or abuse in their nursing home or assisted living facility, contact Zoll & Kranz, LLC for a free, private consultation.