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Nursing Home Neglect

The terms nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect are often used interchangeably. But abuse and neglect are not the same. Nursing home neglect occurs when a nursing home, its doctors or staff fail to properly care for patients in a way that may cause harm to the patients. Whereas, nursing home abuse occurs when a nursing home employee or medical provider intentionally harms a nursing home resident.

Types of nursing home neglect

Nursing home neglect varies depending on the type of harm caused to the individual depending on the reason. Generally, nursing home neglect is classified into four categories:

1- Social or emotional neglect: This is where elderly people are ignored, rudely snapped at, or left alone repeatedly by a nursing home staff.

2- Personal sanitization neglect: This occurs when the patients are not provided with sufficient help for hygienic practices like cleaning, bathing, laundry, or brushing their teeth.

3- Neglect of basic needs: This is when a nursing home does not provide the reasonable food and water or a clean and safe environment essential for a healthy lifestyle.

4- Medical Neglect: This is when a nursing home does not provide sufficient attention, anticipation or the required medication for health concerns like infections, bedsores, diabetes, cuts, mobility concerns, and/or cognitive diseases.

Signs of Neglect in Nursing Home Facilities

It is a difficult process to pinpoint nursing home neglect. Depending on the type and kind of neglect, it is a possibility that physical signs of a nursing home may not be present. Behavioral changes are identified best when the elderly are living close to loved ones. If an elderly individual does not meet his/her family occasionally, they may face difficulties in expressing themselves.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect to Watch Out For

1- Noticeable weight loss

2- Pressure ulcers or bedsores

3- Injuries that may have been caused by nursing home tumbles

4- Malnutrition

5- Dehydration

6- Unusual changes in the behavior of elderly people

7- A noticeable change in the appearance or personal hygiene of the elderly individual

8- A growing and noticeable lack or change in the interaction of the elderly with the staff of the nursing home

9- A growing and noticeable lack or change in the interaction of the elderly with other residents of the nursing home

10- If unsafe furniture is found in the patient’s room located in the nursing home such as slippery floors, poor lighting, unsafe mobility or any kind of unsafe furniture.

Nursing home neglect can prove to be fatal for elderly people. Therefore, when their loved ones visit them they can easily notice signs of nursing home neglect like bedsores, dehydration, or malnutrition, the case should immediately be reported. If a case goes unnoticed, it can be a situation of life and death.

Disclaimer:  This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.