4 Types of Neglect and Abuse Present in Nursing Homes

nursing-homeNursing home neglect and abuse are prevalent at care facilities across the California. In extreme cases, a resident may exhibit bruises and even broken bones. They may or may not be directly abused by nursing home staff. For example, a lack of help can lead to preventable injuries, such as those caused by a person walking unassisted. One fall can lead to a permanent disability or an injury that can be fatal.

There are four basic types of neglect in nursing homes:

1. Medical

Facility staff are required to tend to residents’ mobility needs, but neglect of infections, wounds, bed sores, and conditions such as diabetes can put a resident at risk of worsening health, an injury, or death.

2. Basic Needs

Failing to provide enough food to meet a resident’s dietary requirements, and dehydration, puts a person’s health at risk and can exacerbate existing conditions. Evidence of poor nutrition can point to neglect.

3. Personal Hygiene

Does a loved one have dirty clothes, body odor, or bad breath? These are signs they’re not receiving needed assistance with daily personal tasks. Dirty bandages and a loved one always wearing the same clothes are other signs of neglect.

4. Emotional/Social

Leaving a resident by themselves, ignoring the person, or yelling at them are examples of emotional and social abuse by facility staff that can leave a person startled, frustrated, resentful, and depressed.

Warning Signs to Look For

The warning signs of nursing home neglect can be subtle or be masked by other physical and emotional issues. You want to look for evidence of malnutrition, including sudden weight loss, frequent infections, and bed sores. Dehydration, fall-related injuries, and changes in personal hygiene or appearance are also reasons to suspect something is wrong.

Emotional changes include withdrawal or unusual changes in behavior. A resident may be hesitant to talk about things or become more frustrated and angrier than usual. They might also be less likely to engage in friendly interactions with nursing home staff or other residents. You may also notice other signs of neglect, such as poorly maintained walkers and wheelchairs, bad lighting, broken furniture, or dirty or slippery floors.

What to Do

There are ways to prevent nursing home neglect. While it is up to the staff to tend to each resident’s needs and the environment of the facility, you can visit frequently to discuss your loved one’s needs and see how they are doing. Communication is beneficial, especially if the nursing facility is understaffed. If severe injuries and health issues occur due to negligence, legal action may need to be taken.

A lawsuit is often a costly proposition, but legal funding in California is available. FCA Legal Funding provides help for clients throughout the entire state. If you live in Northern, Central, or Southern California,  legal funding can allow you to help a loved one who has experienced nursing home neglect. Call 310-424-5176 now or apply for legal funding with us online.

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