Is Nursing Home Neglect Different Than Abuse?
Nursing home neglect is similar to nursing home abuse in many ways, but they are not the same. While nursing home abuse implies a specific intent to harm the elder, nursing home neglect is defined as a breach of duty or a form of substandard care that results in harm to the patient. It must be a reasonably foreseeable outcome of the nursing home’s negligent actions.
Nursing home neglect can vary with individual cases, but the four primary types of nursing home neglect involve:
- Emotional or social neglect, where the elder person is repeatedly ignored or left alone, or accidentally snapped at by an overstressed nursing home staff.
- Personal hygiene neglect, where patients do not receive adequate help with laundry, cleaning, bathing, brushing their teeth or other forms of hygiene practices.
- Basic needs neglect, where the nursing home neglects to provide reasonable food, water, or a safe and clean environment.
- Medical neglect, where the nursing home fails to provide adequate attention, prevention or medication for concerns such as bedsores, infections, cuts, diabetes, cognitive diseases and mobility concerns.
Signs Of Nursing Home Neglect
Identifying nursing home neglect warning signs can be very difficult. Depending on the exact type of neglect, there may not be any physical signs of nursing home neglect present. Furthermore, behavioral changes are best identified when a nursing home patient is often visited by family members, friends or loved ones. An elderly patient who is not regularly visited by family members may have difficulty expressing concerns such as emotional or social neglect.
Warning signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Withdrawn behavior or unusual changes in behavior
- Changes in personal hygiene or appearance
- A growing lack of friendly interaction with the nursing home staff
- A growing lack of friendly interaction with the other nursing home residents
- Presence of hazards such as poor lighting, slippery floors, unsafe equipment or poor placement of furniture
An elderly patient residing in a negligent nursing home is at a heightened risk for suffering serious diseases, infections, injuries and death. While some forms of nursing home neglect are obvious, many cases of nursing home neglect go unnoticed and unreported. Reporting nursing home neglect can mean the difference between life and death for the elderly patient.
Is Your Loved One Being Neglected?
If you notice any warning signs or suspect your loved one is not getting proper treatment, schedule a free consultation with attorney Debbie Nelson. She can help you determine if the nursing home is neglecting your loved one and take action if that’s the case.
Call 513-665-0014 or email us to schedule a meeting at our Cincinnati office. We serve Ohio and northern Kentucky.