Do you have an elderly or disabled loved one who is in a nursing home? If you do, you no doubt want to ensure they get the best possible quality of care, especially during the many times you are not there to oversee it. While there are often cases of nursing home abuse in the news, where nursing home patients are physically abused by staff members, you don't hear as much about nursing home neglect. This doesn't involve outright physical violence toward a nursing home patient, but it can be just as damaging to them. If you suspect your loved one is experiencing neglect at their nursing home, you should hire a nursing home lawyer and file a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf.
According to NursingHomeAbuseGuide.com, these are some of the signs of nursing home neglect and why they are damaging to the victims of it.
- Weight loss
- Being withdrawn or other changes in behavior
- Changes in hygiene habits
- Signs of malnutrition
- Signs of hostility toward the people who work at the nursing home
- Rooms that seem unkempt with obvious safety hazards in them, that the staff doesn't clean up or resolve
Emotional Problems Neglect Can Cause
Nursing home neglect can be emotionally damaging to patients. They are already in an environment where they would prefer to not be, away from family and friends most of the time, and at the mercy of strangers. The strangers who take care of the patients have to take care of a lot of other people, too. This makes neglect easy, and those suffering from it may feel they are invisible, don't matter, or that no one cares about them. When someone is going through a health situation that requires nursing home care, either temporarily or permanently, they are already having a tough time emotionally, reconciling themselves to the situation. When they are neglected, their feelings can turn into depression, anger, and other negative things that require psychiatric treatment or counseling. You can sue on your loved one's behalf for the emotional injuries nursing home neglect brings.
Physical Problems Neglect Can Cause
In addition to the emotional problems neglect can cause, it can also cause physical issues for someone who is already suffering from them. Malnutrition and dehydration can lead to weakness, which can lead to falls and fall-related injuries. Safety hazards in rooms and common areas can also lead to falls and subsequent bruises or broken bones. These are especially dangerous in frail, elderly people.
Bedsores, changes in hygiene habits, and weight loss can cause nutritional imbalances, infections, and severe pain. These things may not be outright physical abuse, but they can be just as bad for the patient. You don't want your loved one going through these things, especially when you have placed your trust in the nursing home and its staff to care for your loved one as well as you would if you could do it. Whether the neglect is intentional or unintentional, and it can be either, it is an issue and you need to contact a nursing home lawyer to make sure the home and its staff learn there are consequences for neglect, and to prevent it from happening to other patients, or to your loved one again.
Nursing home neglect isn't something you can just brush off as an excuse for the staff being busy with so many other patients. No matter how many patients are in the home, the staff have an obligation to give every patient the attention and care they need. If your loved one is being neglected at their nursing home, contact a nursing home lawyer today to take care of the issue and get your loved one the quality care they deserve.