NURSING HOME NEGLECT IS A FORM OF ABUSE
“But we didn’t mean it!” simply isn’t going to cut it as an excuse when it comes to nursing home neglect. True, unlike abuse, neglect is not done out of specific intent to harm a patient or an elder in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility. But too often, intended or not, substandard care results in even worse harm to patients than actual abuse.
In fact, a congressional examination conducted over a two-year period uncovered the fact that nearly one in three nursing homes were cited for violations that had the potential to cause harm. Under the law, neglect means there has been a failure to provide a person with the care and services necessary to ensure freedom from harm or pain.
There are basically four types of neglect when it comes to patient care, nursinghomeabusecenter.com explains:
- Medical neglect. The facility fails to attend adequately or prevent medical concerns of the resident, including provisional care for diabetes, bedsores, infections, cognitive disorders, mobility issues and lacerations.
- Neglect of Basic Needs. The facility fails to provide the resident with a reasonable amount of water or food, or fails to provide a clean and safe environment.
- Neglect of Personal Hygiene. Nursing home residents do not have adequate assistance with cleaning, brushing their teeth, laundry, bathing or other types of hygiene practices.
- Social or Emotional Neglect. Staff members repeatedly ignore the nursing home resident, leaving them alone, or are yelled at by an overstressed staff member.
Visitors to a care facility should be alert for any or all of the following signs in a family member who is residing there:
- The patient is dehydrated
- The patient has frequent infections
- The patient is malnourished
- The patient has pressure ulcers (bed sores)
- The conditions appear to be unsanitary
- The patient is losing or gaining weight rapidly
- The patient appears to be overly medicated or sedated
Whether it’s a nursing home, a convalescent home, a rest home, a rehabilitation or elder care facility, it can be held legally responsible — meaning that a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed — when negligence on the premises ends up causing harm to a patient or resident.
Any time patient care is involved, regardless of who is at fault, the matter can be intensely personal and deeply emotional to the injured party and to the family members. At Ramey & Hailey Law, our mission is to help our clients through this difficult process, help you attain the compensation you deserve, and ensure that the nursing home neglect suffered is not repeated on other innocent victims.
One California law firm offers some sobering real-life examples of extreme harm to patients that resulted from neglect. (Nobody specifically wanted or intended to harm these patients, yet enormous and irreversible harm happened as a result of neglecting their needs:
- An Alzheimer’s patient fell down a flight of steps.
- When her call for assistance getting to the bathroom was ignored, the patient suffered a severe fall.
- A patient’s tracheostomy tube on her ventilator became dislodged, but the staff did not heed the alarm.
- An 83 year old patient died of infection because the nursing staff did not take care of her catheter.
Neglect is not done out of specific intent to harm a patient in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility. But when inattention or substandard care results in harm, there is legal liability.
“But we didn’t mean it!” simply isn’t going to cut it as an excuse when it comes to nursing home neglect.