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Nursing Home Negligence – Are Your Loved Ones at Risk?

Nursing home negligence is one of the most common forms of abuse and neglect against adults 65 years of age and older.  During these times we are living in of COVID-19 we may not be able to visit or check-in with our loved ones as much as we would like, so it’s important to see the signs of nursing home neglect before it becomes a life-threatening problem. It’s also important to take all necessary steps to ensure your loved one is well taken care of and removed out of any potentially bad situations.

So what is nursing home negligence?  Negligence is the failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury to another person.  Nursing home negligence involves the failure of a facility or its staff to provide reasonable or adequate care of its residents.  This includes a wide range of different actions that result in harm done to a senior that is in the facility’s care and can include:

Lack of Supervision and Adequate Staffing: Many residents require a higher level of supervision due to the physical and mental conditions that prevent them from living independently at home.  The nursing home is required to provide each resident with enough staff to meet their needs.  Under staffing at nursing homes and inadequate supervision can result in falls, choking incidents and flight risks.

Inappropriate Nursing or Medical Care:   Residents at nursing homes are entitled to proper nursing and medical care.  If your loved one’s medical needs are not being met or if they are not receiving their proper medication dosages, it could cause major health issues, or worst, even death.  Some medical care needed, if not properly cared for could result in injuries from falls, pressure ulcers, and medication errors.

Lack of Basic Safety and Nutrition: Aging adults have a right to clean living facilities, clean water, proper food and nutrition, clean bedding and comfort.  If these basic necessities are not given proper attention, it could result in malnutrition, dehydration, or even choking hazards.  Good nutrition is also vital for healthy skin especially with those with decreased mobility.

Poor Hygiene: This can include personal hygiene and overall cleanliness of the facility.  This could include regular bathing, brushing of hair and teeth, and laundering of sheets and clothing.  Poor hygiene could cause injuries including bed sores, pressure ulcers, which if infected could cause illness or death, if untreated.  If the facility is not regularly cleaned, disinfected and decluttered to avoid tripping hazards, your loved one could be at risk of falling.

Social and Emotional Abuse:  Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are obligated to provide social and emotional support to their residents.  If left alone too long, ignored or verbally abused, a resident could suffer physical, emotional and psychological consequences.

Physical or Sexual Assault: Bodily harm, in any form, is unacceptable.  Sadly many victims of physical or sexual assault are often those diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disorders.  Any incident should be reported to the police immediately.

Most importantly, if a loved one tells you that an issue has arisen, listen to them, believe them and follow up regularly.

If you believe your loved one was a victim of nursing home abuse, our team at Karp Steiger can help get your loved one the justice they deserve.  Call our attorneys at (216) 696-3515 for a free consultation.

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