Nursing home neglect is a specific type of elder abuse that family members should always watch for after placing a loved one in a nursing home environment.
Neglect relates to situations where staff may not pay attention to the standards of patient care that ensure quality of life and safety for nursing home residents. These types of problems can put a nursing home resident in jeopardy, and cause a lot of heartache for family members.
Types of Elder Abuse
Professional elder abuse lawyers work with several different types of elder abuse cases. In nursing home neglect cases, lawyers will be looking for a lack of adequate care, in the form of:
- Not turning patients to avoid bedsores
- Lack of proper medication regimens, or medication errors
- Lack of appropriate food and water, as per medical requirements
- Not enough observation for patients with safety risks such as falling dangers
- Other types of inattention to a nursing home resident’s health and safety
In addition, family members should also look for signs of nursing home abuse, which is characterized as active harm toward a nursing home resident. Nursing home abuse can have emotional or physical aspects. Some serious cases also involve nursing home sexual abuse, or financial abuse, where nursing home staff or others may take advantage of seniors to try to access their financial resources.
In general, these nursing home abuse cases cause extreme worry for family members, pain and fear for nursing home residents, and ultimately, consequences for the nursing home facilities that allow these kinds of abuse to occur. Nursing home neglect can also have many of the same negative repercussions for all parties involved. A resource from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General provides more detail on different types of nursing home abuse and neglect cases, and how they work.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Although every case of nursing home neglect is different, here are some warning signs that family members can watch for:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Mysterious bruising
- Testimony from nursing care resident of inattention by staff
At the same time, it’s always important to also look for signs of active nursing home abuse. This Fox Business piece from last year reveals more about the warning signs of these types of situations.
One helpful strategy is to remain engaged and spend time in a nursing home facility. Family members can visit the facility and document what they see, which will often tell them a lot about how their loved one is being looked after and cared for. This documentation can also be helpful later, as the case proceeds in court. Direct witnessing of the nursing home environment is key in many cases of neglect, where someone has to observe what’s happening and evaluate it from a legal standpoint.
Getting Legal Help for Nursing Home Neglect
Many families who feel they may have a nursing home neglect case will want to contact professional attorneys early on. Besides just being able to talk over the issue with an outside party, families can get a much better understanding of whether legal action will be helpful.
Elder abuse lawyers can help a family to understand how to document a case of nursing home neglect, and what to bring to the case to help prove that abuse or neglect is happening. If someone in your family faces a situation that might constitute nursing home neglect, contact the caring legal professionals at The McDaniel Law Group, PLLC. Call 202-331-0793 for a free consultation. Let us help to provide peace of mind when it comes to legal counsel. Get support from an experienced law office while pursuing justice under the law.